Tasmania

New assessment bilateral agreement in place for Tasmania

THE Tasmanian and Federal governments have now created a 'one-stop shop' for environmental assessments in Tasmania, with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Tasmanian Environment Minister Matthew Groom signing a new assessment bilateral agreement.

The new agreement creates a single environmental assessment process that allows the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment to rely on specified environmental impact assessment processes of Tasmania in assessing certain actions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Mr Hunt said the Commonwealth's 'one-stop shop' reforms for environmental assessments and approvals will save business in Australia about $420 million every year.

"Duplication of federal, state and local planning processes adds complexity and cost to environmental approvals across the country – with no added environmental benefit," the Minister said.

"Under current arrangements, major projects can be delayed through multiple and duplicative approval processes, even if the project is environmentally acceptable."

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Photo: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania / by Ben Ashmole.

The one-stop shop reform will accredit relevant Tasmanian planning processes systems under national environmental law, to create a single assessment process that satisfies both governments' requirements.

Mr Groom said the agreement will deliver a boost to Tasmania's economy while ensuring the environment continues to be protected.

"This new agreement will deliver on our commitment to streamline the state and Commonwealth assessment process and ensure we are maximising growth and investment opportunities for Tasmania," the Minister said.

"This is an outstanding example of what two governments can achieve when they work cooperatively on a common goal."

More information is available from the Department of the Environment website at <http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/environment-assessments/bilateral-agreements>.

Photo: 'Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia' / Ben Ashmole / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0.

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