The Federal Opposition’s pledge last night to allow the states to act as a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals is a step in the right direction, according to John Shipp, Director of the ANDEV/IPA North Australia Project.
Mr Shipp welcomed Tony Abbott’s focus on cutting green tape in his Budget-In-Reply speech on Thursday night.
“It is great to see a national figure finally taking the issue of green tape seriously,” Mr Shipp said.
Mr Abbott outlined a plan to give state and territory governments the authority to grant environmental approvals on behalf of the federal government.
Mr Abbott described the new state authorities vested with federal approval powers as “one-stop-shops.”
“The North Australia Project has been calling for a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals for at least eighteen months now,” Mr Shipp said.
Mr Shipp used the increasing attention paid to one-stop-shop environmental authorities to renew calls for a Special Economic Zone in Northern Australia.
“To really do away with the problem of green tape, Mr Abbott should consider implementing a Special Economic Zone across North Australia, including a single one-stop-shop with authority to grant approvals on behalf of all levels of government across all states and territories.”
“Overseas, Special Economic Zones have been an extremely effective means of cutting green tape and streamlining regulation.”
“Rationalising environmental regulation between the three levels of government is a vital economic reform for ensuring Australia’s continued prosperity into the future.”