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Australia : Final stage reached on federal environmental approvals in Queensland.

The Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and the Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell today released a draft Queensland bilateral agreement on environmental approvals for public comment.

Minister Hunt said this is a major step forward for the One-Stop Shop on environmental approvals.

"The Australian Government is delivering on a key election commitment to streamline environmental approvals through the implementation of a One-Stop Shop policy," Minister Hunt said.

"This reform will simplify project approvals while still maintaining high environmental standards under Australia's national environment law."

Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell says an approval bilateral agreement ensures that only one decision - which accounts for both state matters and matters of national environmental significance - is required for environmental approvals.

"The approval bilateral agreement would cover approvals on major projects under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (Qld) and resource projects under the Environment Protection Act 1994 (Qld).

"This will reduce the duplication of Federal and Queensland environmental assessment and approval processes which add costs and delays to major project approvals across Queensland.

"The approval bilateral agreement also incorporates additional streamlining measures, which will further reduce duplication between the Australian Government and Queensland environmental assessment and approval processes," Minister Powell said.

"The end goal is to have one stop shop arrangements, including negotiations on assessment and approval bilateral agreements, concluded with all jurisdictions by September 2014, and December 2014 in the case of Victoria", Minister Hunt said.

The draft approval bilateral agreement with Queensland is open for public comment until Friday 13th June. For further information see www.environment.gov.au/epbc/one-stop-shop

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:May 15, 2014
Words:278
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