Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has congratulated the National Cabinet for agreeing to a single touch approvals process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
“Devolving environmental approvals to the states will give Australian states a stake in their own post-coronavirus economic recovery,” said Cian Hussey, Research Fellow at the IPA.
The IPA’s submission to the statutory review of the EPBC Act recommended a focus on localism and decentralisation to remove duplication and leave environmental regulation with states, territories, and the communities directly affected by such regulation.
“Everything the Morrison government does from now on should be focused on getting Australians back into work. This is an important and welcome first step. Environmental green tape is a major impediment to job-creating projects and must be slashed,” said Mr Hussey.
An IPA analysis, released in April and submitted to the EPBC Act review, found that the number of regulations enabled by the EPBC Act has increased by 445% since the year 2000.
IPA research has estimated that the ‘lawfare’ provision of the EPBC Act, Section 487, has put over $65 billion of investment at risk in Australia by holding major projects, such as dams, coal mines, and roads, up in court for a cumulative total of 10,100 days, or 28 years, since the year 2000.
Download the report: The Growth and Complexity of Environmental Regulation.
Download the report: Section 487: How activists use red tape to stop development and jobs (2020 Update)