Today’s announcement of a new project assessment bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and Tasmania is practical and common sense reform in action.

One-stop shop environmental assessments will reduce the regulatory burden on job and wealth-generating projects in Tasmania without diminishing environmental standards.

Tasmania’s move forward follows yesterday’s good news that Victoria is also taking steps to untangle green tape. The assessment bilateral between the Commonwealth and that state will provide a single process for environmental assessments which will be more efficient and less costly for all stakeholders.

Reducing the stranglehold of redundant green tape delivers economy wide benefits. Analysis undertaken for the MCA by BAEconomics demonstrates that reducing the length of time taken to achieve environmental approvals by one year will:

  • Increase Australia’s national output by $160 billion and create an extra 69,000 jobs by 2025
  • Deliver 1,242 additional jobs and increase Tasmania’s Gross State Product by $2.88 billion by 2025
  • Boost Victoria’s economy by more than $35 billion and create more than 15,000 extra jobs by 2025.

The Australian, Tasmanian and Victorian governments are to be congratulated for recognising the local and national importance of these agreements. With agreements already in place in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT, we are now well underway to achieving savings to business of some $420 million every year without compromising high environmental standards.

The Senate should now play its part by passing the enabling legislation for these critical reforms as soon as possible.

Download complete article