PM Scott Morrison says environmental approval process for major projects is too complex

HERE we go…

Barely 6 months after winning a Federal Election narrowly … SCOMO is indicating he is going in ‘boots and all’ to pull apart the fabric of some of the more important legislation, and Standards in Australia …

What is being planned?

Is it firstly …

-to settle the dust with a few ‘good feeling’ concepts like handy infrastructure spending

-commencing initiatives like well-earned help for rural communities suffering from the drought and/or bush fires whilst doing their utmost to preserve the budget surplus

-exploiting every opportunity to shift the focus from their short comings to build narratives that lay the blame for our woes squarely at the feet of IR and unions, environmental protections and any regulations that make accountability essential

MEANWHILE will SCOMO succeed in drawing attention away from the issues that remain like …

not increasing unemployment benefits

not doing anything substantial about wages theft and unpaid superannuation 

not addressing reforms to improve inclusion of Aboriginal Australians

reconfiguring the country’s use of electricity so it is capable of being less dependent on the use of coal generated power, and plan for it’s replacement

effective AML, stopping foreign ownership of Australian domestic housing, water entitlements, infrastructure and farming property

The list goes on … what has been achieved over the last 3 years?

Oh yes … we forgot … a budget surplus
BUT what else can we look forward to?

A budget surplus
And after that?

A budget surplus

CLARKE AND DAWE were so right, it’s a market you know!

PM Scott Morrison says environmental approval process for major projects is too complex

By political reporter Stephanie Dalzell

21 NOVEMBER 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison stands at a lectern with 'Business Council of Australia' signage

PHOTO: The Prime Minister said technology was now available to make the environmental approval process “faster and simpler”. (AAP: Steven Saphore)

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged an overhaul of the environmental approval process for major projects, saying the current system is too complex, lengthy and tough to navigate.

Key points:

  • The Prime Minister said the Government would try and reduce the time it takes for businesses to get environmental approvals for big projects
  • The comments come ahead of a major review of federal environmental laws
  • Mr Morrison also flagged removing “clutter” from the enterprise bargaining and national awards systems

In a speech to the Business Council of Australia last night, Mr Morrison said the Government wanted to get big projects off the ground sooner.

“We’ve taken on board what businesses have been telling us — environmental approval processes for major projects are overly complex and duplicative and they take too long,” he said.

He said the Government would try to reduce the length of time it takes businesses to navigate through the state and federal systems, by allowing them to submit an application online and track its progress.

“As in other areas, digital technology gives us the opportunity to make these processes faster and simpler,” he said.

“It takes approximately three-and-a-half years for a complex major project to navigate the state and Commonwealth environmental assessment processes.

“It is estimated this timeframe could be reduced by between six and 18 months through the better use of technology,” he said.

The flagged changes are part of the Coalition’s deregulation agenda, which aims to boost productivity.

The comments come ahead of a major review of federal environmental laws, which green groups say are failing and inadequate.

More than 240 scientists have warned of an “extinction crisis” unless the laws are beefed up and properly enforced.

Government wants to simplify the awards system

The Prime Minister also signalled the Government was looking to streamline enterprise bargaining and the national award system, arguing the current scheme is bad for business.

He said removing so-called “clutter” from the process would form part of the Government’s “fresh look” at industrial relations.

“While the number of awards has reduced, it appears that they have not become simpler, indeed many believe that they have become more complex,” Mr Morrison said.

“The degree of administrative clutter associated with the compliance regime and the enterprise bargaining process can also detract from business improvements that can arise from working together for mutual benefit and ensuring people get paid what they should get paid.”

However, he insisted there would be no changes to the system unless businesses made the case.

“But I again underscore the obligation on the business community … to marshal the evidence and make the case for change,” Mr Morrison said.

Contact Stephanie Dalzell