Article by Madura McCormack courtesy of the Northern Territory News
Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro will today reveal the party plans a ‘can do’ approvals fast-track taskforce as a matter of priority to advise the Government how it can halve approval waiting times and streamline processes.
A WHIP-CRACKING taskforce will be created to cut red and green tape in the NT and halve approval time frames for business and industries if the CLP takes government at the August election.
Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro will today reveal the party plans a “can do” approvals fast-track taskforce as a matter of priority to advise the Government how it can halve approval waiting times and streamline processes.
The taskforce would do this by developing a detailed list of legislative and regulatory repeals and amendments within six months of formation to make the Government more efficient.
It would also perform “regular spot checks of application waitlists” to identify approval impediments within various departments, require departmental heads to implement recommendations approved by cabinet and remove duplication of processes between different arms of government.
The taskforce, which would be guided by an external volunteer board made up of business and industry representatives, would report to the chief minister’s office.
The taskforce itself would be staffed by “technical and legal experts” sourced from across government.
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“In the CLP, we know that unless you embrace business, entrepreneurship and encourage risk-taking for businesses you will never realise the potential economic and job-creation rewards,” Ms Finocchiaro said.
“At the moment processes for things like mining management plans, liquor and environmental approvals can be overly complicated, costly and time-consuming.
“Under the Gunner Government’s cumbersome regime, businesses are deterred from going ahead with investment, or even cancel it. “Our processing time frames are also a major deterrent on interstate and international business looking to invest.”
The CLP’s new policy comes a day after it promised to scrap NT’s hybrid mining tax model, which was introduced by the Labor Government two years ago.
The current mining tax system is loathed by the mining industry because it is seen as a disincentive for investment.
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A CLP government would have an ad valorem-only royalty system for all new mining operations, based on the WA regime.
Ms Finocchiaro would phase in the system for existing mines, in consultation with industry.