NT Media Releases


ONE-STOP SHOP PROJECT ASSESSMENTS: A NATIONAL SUCCESS STORY

Today’s announcement that the Commonwealth and Northern Territory have signed a bilateral agreement for environmental assessments is a milestone for the efficient and effective management of Australia’s environment.

MCA - NORTHERN TERRITORY WELCOMES PROGRESS ON GREEN TAPE REFORM

The proposed agreement to streamline environmental assessments in the Northern Territory is warmly welcomed by the minerals industry. The minerals industry has long advocated the need to streamline the project approvals processes between the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments, while maintaining high levels of environmental protection. The Commonwealth Government’s commitment to establish standards for environmental protection consistent with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act while devolving assessment and approvals functions to the states and territories, with appropriate checks and balances in place, achieves this goal. This does not reduce protection for the environment, but significantly improves the efficiency of Australia’s project approvals process. It also carries the potential for improved environmental outcomes through freeing resources for better data, administration and enforcement capabilities. An audit for the Minerals Council of Australia by environmental and economic consultants URS comparing approvals laws in 2006 and today shows there has been more than 120 changes to state and federal government approvals laws and supporting legislation.
The audit shows there have been six new pieces of legislation, six replacement Acts and more than 60 sets of amendments to approvals laws; and 50 sets of additions and amendments to subordinate legislation, regulations and codes of practice.
If Australia is to maximise the return from the millennium mining boom, we must stop placing regulatory roadblocks in the path of economic growth.

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