WA environmental approval timeframes to be slashed

The Australian and Western Australian Governments have agreed to streamline environment approvals to cut delays for new projects.

This agreement is expected to reduce an average of six months in decision making timeframes, reducing red tape and assisting with economic recovery post COVID-19.

Western Australia has approximately $100 billion worth of development proposals in the pipeline that are anticipated to benefit from the agreement.

The state government had been advocating for the removal of duplication in state and federal requirements while maintaining environmental standards.

Western Australia was recognised in the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies as the world’s number one jurisdiction for mining and mineral exploration business, making it the ideal place to deliver the “once in a generation” reform.

Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the agreement would make for faster, clearer and more consistent environmental assessments for the state’s pipeline of development proposals.

“This bilateral between the state and commonwealth governments is a long-awaited step to kick-start the economy and streamline the environmental approvals process,” Dawson said.

“It’s also significant because consistent and timely environmental decision-making benefits the community in Western Australia and is a win for the environment.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to facilitate economic activity, while safeguarding the environment for future generations.”

Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan added that the agreement would not compromise environmental standards, but simply “reduce duplication in the approvals process.”

“Our government’s main priority is ensuring Western Australia is in a strong position to recover from the pandemic, with employment opportunities created for Western Australians,” McGowan said.

“This agreement will pave the way for important job-creating projects, while maintaining the highest environmental standards.”

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