80-Fold Increase In Environmental Legislation Since 1971

Written by:
24 October 2019
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There has been 80-fold increase to Commonwealth environmental regulation since the first Commonwealth environmental department was established in 1971, according to a new report by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

“Environmental red tape is a significant barrier to economic opportunity and prosperity in Australia,” said Morgan Begg, research fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs.

“Environmental red tape has caused a haemorrhaging to business investment which currently sits at just 11.2 per cent of GDP. This is lower than the rate which prevailed during the economically-hostile Whitlam years.”

“Environmental regulation at the federal level is just part of the story. The burden under state laws compounds the problem. For instance, Victorians must comply with about 10,000 pages of environmental regulation – this is the highest burden of any state.”

“This is not an unsolvable problem. Australians governments can address the burden of environmental red tape by implementing a one-in-two-out rule so that two old regulations are removed when a new regulation is introduced.”

“Parliament should also eliminate duplication so that the states are given sole responsibility to craft their own environmental policies specific to their circumstances,” said Mr Begg.

Download the report here.

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