Painfully slowly but inexorably, obstructionist green misanthropes are seeing their carefully constructed web of human-hating anti-development legislation eroded. This process of returning humanity to the pinnacle of consideration will accelerate when the Coalition takes government at the next election.
Tony Abbott’s environmental one-stop shop
THE states will be offered the power to act as one-stop shops for environmental approvals for major projects – including administering federal laws – under a Coalition plan aimed at cutting green tape.
In a speech today, Tony Abbott will announce the policy, which will also offer a single lodgment and documentation process for environmental approvals.
The Opposition Leader will say the one-stop-shop approvals process should be accompanied by deadlines for decision-making and penalties if these are breached, such as partial reimbursement of lodgment fees.
For some projects such as major offshore developments, the state and territories will be offered the chance to allow the commonwealth to be the sole designated assessor.
“States and territories that agree to be part of this one-stop- shop process should have a significant advantage attracting investment,” the Opposition Leader will say.
“Engendering competition between the states would be a way to make Australia’s federal system work for us rather than against us.”
The policy last night won the backing of the Business Council of Australia, which has been pushing for a streamlining of so-called green tape.
Last week the BCA, in a submission to the Council of Australian Governments, said that obtaining approvals for one major project had cost $25m and involved 4000 meetings, briefings and presentations and the preparation of a 12,000-page report. After two years, 1200 state and 300 commonwealth conditions were imposed with 8000 sub-conditions.
In Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the Yaringa marina is facing delays under the EPBC Act over the orange-bellied parrot, which has not been seen in the area for more than two decades.
Mr Abbott will argue that too often the public debate assumed that generating wealth was incompatible with preserving the environment. “There’s no doubt that economic returns aren’t always worth their long-term environmental costs,” he will say. “Still, the wealthier a country is, the more readily it can afford to judge money-making opportunities against exacting environmental standards.”