The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
The Hon. Peter Chandler
Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment
Agreement to streamline environmental assessments in the Northern Territory open for public comment
Joint media release
8 April 2014
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Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and the Northern Territory Environment Minister Peter Chandler today released a draft assessment bilateral agreement between the two governments to establish a 'One-Stop Shop' for environmental assessments.
The bilateral agreement allows the Commonwealth to accredit Northern Territory environmental assessment processes, so that the NT can assess projects on the Commonwealth's behalf.
It ensures environmental standards are maintained whilst ensuring an efficient, timely and effective process and minimising duplication between Commonwealth and Territory processes.
"This agreement puts in place a single assessment process, thereby reducing unnecessary duplication. It's about cutting green tape while still maintaining high environmental standards," Minister Hunt said.
"Under this agreement, the Federal Government will retain the power to approve or refuse actions, and to attach conditions to approved projects."
The Australian Government is delivering on a key election commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on business by streamlining the environmental assessment and approvals processes.
The Northern Territory Minister for Environment Peter Chandler hailed this agreement as a shining example of what can be achieved when two levels of government work together towards a common goal.
"This agreement will both streamline and strengthen environmental assessment processes as we work to build a balanced environment.
"Furthermore it is evidence the Northern Territory has matured as a jurisdiction which is a key theme for this government as we move to drive the development of Northern Australia," Mr Chandler said.
The release of this draft agreement is an important step toward developing a 'One-Stop Shop' for environmental approvals in the Northern Territory.
The next step will be to accredit Northern Territory environmental approval systems under national environmental law.
The draft bilateral agreement is open for public comment until Tuesday 6 May 2014. Further information can be found at topics/environment-protection/ environment-assessments/bilateral-agreements