The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Katy Gallagher MLA
ACT Chief Minister
Acting Minister for the Environment
Agreement to streamline environmental assessments in the ACT open for public comment
Joint media release
28 March 2014
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The Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and the ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher today released a draft assessment bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory.
Bilateral agreements are put in place to protect the environment, ensure an efficient, timely and effective process and minimise duplication between Commonwealth and state processes.
"This agreement puts in place a single assessment process to reduce unnecessary duplication, while still maintaining high environmental standards," Minister Hunt said.
"Under this agreement, the Federal Government will retain the power to approve or refuse actions, and to attach conditions to approved actions."
The Australian Government is working to reduce the regulatory burden on business by streamlining the environmental assessment and approvals processes and delivering a 'One-Stop Shop' for environmental assessments and approvals.
Reducing red tape is also a priority for the ACT and this reform will contribute to the ACT's aim of addressing unnecessary and inefficient regulation.
"The agreement will allow proposed actions that are covered by the agreement to be assessed by the ACT on the Commonwealth's behalf," the Chief Minister said.
"This new agreement will improve the assessment bilateral agreement currently in place."
The release of this draft agreement is an important step toward developing a 'One-Stop Shop' for environmental approvals in the ACT.
The next step will be to accredit ACT environmental approval systems under national environmental law.
"The ACT is pleased to be developing a One-Stop Shop with the Commonwealth. This important reform will provide certainty for development in the ACT and at the same time help to achieve strong and enduring environmental outcomes," the Chief Minister said.
Members of the public are invited to comment on the draft bilateral agreement until Monday 28 April 2014.
Further information can be found at http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/about-us/legislation/environment-protection-and-biodiversity-conservation-act-1999/one-stop