Fact sheet 1: What is the One-Stop Shop?

Department of the Environment, 2014

The One-Stop Shop will streamline environmental assessment and approval processes by removing duplication between the Australian Government and states and territories. Importantly, this will be achieved while maintaining high environmental standards.

The One-Stop Shop will be implemented through approval bilateral agreements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Approval bilateral agreements

Approval bilateral agreements allow a state to conduct a single environmental assessment and approval process that satisfies both state and Australian Government requirements.

  • approval bilateral agreements have been possible under the EPBC Act since it was first passed. The Government is now implementing the efficiencies envisaged when the EPBC Act was introduced
  • under the One-Stop Shop, states and territories will be responsible for assessment and approval for projects that are covered by an approval bilateral agreement
  • when finalised, the approval bilateral agreements will include a list of state and territory processes that have been accredited under the EPBC Act. No separate Australian Government assessment or approval will be required as the single process will have incorporated both state and federal requirements

Scope of agreements

The Australian Government’s One-Stop Shop policy is to accredit the broadest range of approvals possible under national environmental law. All matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act are potentially in scope, so as to achieve the most efficient system and greatest reduction in duplication. The Australian Government will retain responsibility for Commonwealth actions and Commonwealth land and marine areas.

The scope of the final approval bilateral agreements will vary between states due to differences in legislation and processes. Approval bilateral agreements will be updated as state processes change over time.

Transitional arrangements for proponents

Any action that has been referred to the Australian Government for assessment and approval under the EPBC Act prior to the commencement date of a new approval bilateral agreement will continue under the existing assessment arrangements.

A proponent with a current referral may choose to continue this process, or they may withdraw and refer it to the state or territory. Withdrawal may enable proponents to have the benefit of the One-Stop Shop and a single approval decision.

More information

Draft approval bilateral agreements are available for statutory consultation on the Department’s website 'One stop shop' for environmental approvals

For more information about the One-Stop Shop for environmental approvals, please go to 'One stop shop' for environmental approvals