A new assessment bilateral agreement that removes duplication and provides a single process for environmental assessments in the Australian Capital Territory has been signed by Commonwealth and ACT governments.
This is an important milestone in streamlining the environmental assessment process in the ACT through the Australian Government’s ‘One-Stop Shop’ policy.
The new ACT agreement reduces the regulatory burden on business, meets the requirements of both the Territory and the Commonwealth government and maintains high environmental standards. This new assessment bilateral agreement will replace the previous agreement.
ACT based projects that are already being assessed under the existing agreement will transition seamlessly across to the new agreement. The agreement also streamlines the administrative relationship between the Australian Government and the Australian Capital Territory.
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Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said this agreement accredits Australian Capital Territory environmental assessment processes which meet high environmental standards.
“Under this agreement, I will retain the power to approve or refuse actions and to attach conditions to approved actions.
“The next step in the ‘One-Stop Shop’ process for the Australian Capital Territory will be the accreditation of its environmental approval processes,” Mr Hunt said.
ACT Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell, said he was pleased with the signing of the new assessment bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth.
“The new agreement will help to streamline environmental assessments between the ACT and Commonwealth,” Mr Corbell said.
“The new agreement also signals that the ACT is closer to securing a One-Stop Shop. Negotiations between the ACT and Commonwealth are progressing well, and we expect to have a One-Stop Shop in place in 2014.”
For further information see http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/environment-assessments/bilateral-agreements/act
(Media Release Simon Corbell and Greg Hunt)