Fact sheet 2: Benefits of 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, Australia’s strong environmental standards will be maintained and business efficiency will be improved:

  • states and territories will only be accredited to make approval decisions when they can demonstrate that their processes meet high national environmental standards. The national standards are available on the Department’s website at: 'One stop shop' for environmental approvals
  • there will be increased sharing of environmental information and data between business, governments and the community which will improve our ability to understand and manage our environment
  • increased use of strategic assessments will improve environmental outcomes. Strategic assessments consider the cumulative impacts of environmental pressures and plan for better environmental outcomes, particularly over the long term
  • a simpler, faster assessment and approval process will increase certainty for investors, reduce costs for business, boost productivity and create jobs. Business will only need to deal with one regulator and undertake one assessment and approval process

Costs associated with completing referrals and time delays in undertaking duplicative assessments will be greatly minimised under the One-Stop Shop. This is one of the many ways the Government is delivering on its commitment to cutting red tape.

Streamlined environmental approval of major projects

In the past there have been delays between granting state and territory government approvals and the Australian Government approval. There are a number of points of delay that can occur under the current regulatory arrangements.

Under the current system there could be a gap of, for example, 110 days between the state and Australian Government approval decisions. With the One-Stop Shop, this type of delay would be avoided or minimised because the Australian Government would not need to assess information on matters of national environmental significance separately. Instead, the state would seek all relevant information upfront and through the one application.

In this scenario, if the project had a net present value of $130 million, it is estimated that there would be a benefit to business of up to $1 million under the One-Stop Shop from compliance cost savings.1

Further streamlining

The Australian Government is working with states and territories so that approval bilateral agreements cover as many projects as possible. Some projects may still require Australian Government approval under the EPBC Act.

Further streamlining measures are currently being investigated to capture projects that fall outside the One-Stop Shop, for example strategic assessments:

  • unlike project-by-project assessments, strategic assessments examine a much larger set of actions or ‘classes of actions’. Once approved, future individual projects taken within the class of actions do not need any further approval by the Australian Government
  • strategic assessments allow for long term management resulting in better environmental outcomes
  • the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority strategic assessment of offshore petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters has removed duplication and will result in savings for business of $120 million a year

More information

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

For more information on strategic assessments, please go to Strategic assessments

1. Using the Australian Government’s Regulatory Burden Measurement Framework, available at: Interim Regulation Impact Statement Process Guidance Note