Senate Committee Report Confirms Red Tape Strangling The Australian Economy

19 October 2017 Institute of Public Affairs Media Release

Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has welcomed the recommendations from the Select Committee on Red Tape interim report: Effect of red tape on environmental assessment and approvals.

“The Senate Committee’s report confirms the economic damage caused by environmental red tape in Australia,” said IPA research fellow Daniel Wild.
“The government should implement the Committee’s recommendations, including abolishing the ‘water trigger’ and ‘uranium actions’ as matters of national environmental significance, repealing section 487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and re-committing to the One Stop Shop initiative.”

“The report shows that the environmental approvals process is too long and onerous. The Roy Hill iron mine required more than 4,000 licenses, approvals, and permits for the pre-construction phase alone. The Adani Carmichael coalmine spent seven years in the approvals process, fought more than 10 legal challenges, and had to prepare a 22,000-page environmental impact statement.”

The report cites IPA research which has estimated that ‘anti-development activism’ has caused delay and disruption to projects, costing the economy more than $1.2 billion over the past 17 years.

“It is encouraging that the Committee is recommending policies that the IPA has long advocated and provided extensive research on, such as abolishing the water trigger and repealing section 487 of the EPBC Act.”

“It is imperative that the government cut red tape to encourage business investment, which is currently lower as a percentage of GDP than during the Whitlam years. Recent IPA research highlighted that declining business investment is one of the greatest economic challenges Australia faces.”

“The report endorses the IPA’s estimate that red tape reduces economic output by $176 billion each year, which is equivalent to 11 per cent of GDP,” said Mr Wild.

For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at emulholland@ipa.org.au

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