'One stop shop' for environmental approvals

The Australian Government is committed to delivering a 'one stop shop' for environmental approvals that will accredit state planning systems under national environmental law, to create a single environmental assessment and approval process for nationally protected matters. The one stop shop policy aims to simplify the approvals process for businesses, lead to swifter decisions and improve Australia's investment climate, while maintaining high environmental standards.

On 16 October 2013, the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced that the Government had approved the framework for achieving the one stop shop. This includes a three-stage process with each of the willing jurisdictions, comprising:

  1. signing a Memorandum of Understanding
  2. agreement on bilateral assessments and updating any existing agreement with the state
  3. negotiation of approval bilateral agreements within 12 months

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Bilateral agreements

Development of bilateral agreements

Progress on bilateral agreements with each State or Territory will be published on the following pages:

Notices of Intent

Notices of intent to develop draft bilateral agreements have been signed with all States and Territories and are published on the individual state pages above.

The notices are also published in the government Gazette and in a daily newspaper that circulates in the state or territory.

Draft bilateral agreements open for public comment

State/Territory Deadline for comment
Northern Territory – draft bilateral agreement relating to environmental assessment – Invitation to comment 5pm, Tuesday 6 May 2014
Australian Capital Territory – draft bilateral agreement relating to environmental assessment – Invitation to comment 5pm, Monday 28 April 2014
South Australia – draft bilateral agreement relating to environmental assessment – Invitation to comment CLOSED on 17 March 2014

Finalised bilateral agreements

New assessment bilateral agreements have been agreed with Queensland and New South Wales.

Standards for Accreditation

The Australian Government has released Standards for Accreditation of Environmental Approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which articulate the environmental standards and considerations for accreditation of state and territory approval processes through bilateral agreements.

Memoranda of Understanding and joint statements

Memoranda of Understanding

Memoranda of Understanding have been agreed with all States and Territories:

Joint Statements

At the Council of Australian Governments meeting of 13 December 2013 the Australian Government signed joint statements with the New South Wales and Queensland governments.