The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

The Hon Mick Gentleman MLA

ACT Minister for Planning

Draft ACT approval bilateral agreement released for public comment

Media release
15 August 2014

A draft bilateral agreement that provides a single process for environmental approvals in the Australian Capital Territory has been released for public comment by the Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt and the ACT Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman.

"Today marks an important milestone in the final stage of setting up a 'One-Stop Shop' for environmental approvals in the Australian Capital Territory," said Mr Hunt.

"The One-Stop Shop policy is accrediting state and territory planning systems under national environmental law to create a single approval process that satisfies both Commonwealth and state or territory approval requirements.

"The Australian Government is committed to reducing regulatory burden by streamlining the environmental approvals process.

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

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

The draft agreement proposes to cover certain approval processes under the Australian Capital Territory Planning and Development Act (2007).

Minister Hunt has welcomed a Bill proposing changes to the Planning and Development Act 2007 introduced by the ACT Government yesterday that would support the implementation of the One-Stop Shop in the ACT.

Minister Gentleman said the approval bilateral agreement will put in place measures to maintain high environmental standards, while reducing regulatory duplication.

"This approval bilateral agreement will ensure that only one decision is required for environmental approvals, accounting for both ACT matters and matters of national environmental significance," said Mr Gentleman.

"Last month we put in place a new assessment bilateral agreement and we are now working towards an agreement for environmental approvals," said Minister Gentleman.

The draft approval bilateral agreement with the Australian Capital Territory is open for public comment until 12 September 2014.

For further information see www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/environment-assessments/bilateral-agreements/ACT

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