Planning Minister Andrew Barr has the thrilling news that he’s cut red tape for property developers so they can build without having to worry as much about environmental impact statements:
The building industry, which is so important for the ACT economy and the jobs of thousands of Canberrans, had told us that too many developments were needlessly requiring an EIS. This had been causing unnecessary delays particularly for infrastructure works in new suburbs.
If we are to keep our economy strong, make housing in Canberra more affordable and keep Canberrans in jobs, we need to ensure that new suburbs are developed in a sustainable way and that land is released as fast as possible. That’s what this new law will help us achieve.
The bill alters Schedule 4 of the Planning and Development Act which lists the types of proposals that require an EIS. The bill removes the EIS trigger in some cases however all proposals are still subject to rigorous environmental assessment as part of the development assessment process. In other cases the EIS trigger has been fine-tuned so an EIS is required only when a significant adverse environmental impact has been identified.