AUSTRALIA’S oil and gas industry has welcomed the recent announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to deliver new deregulation measures for Australian businesses.
Mr Morrison announced the development of a digital environmental approvals process and database aimed at reducing the current approvals process by between six and 18 months.
APPEA chief executive Andrew McConville said the industry welcomed the announcement, saying the measures will reduce red tape and unnecessary regulation, unlocking investment opportunities in Australia.
“The announcement represents an important step forward to improve and modernise the environmental approvals framework, which is currently is time consuming, costly and complex,” Mr McConville said.
“The new deregulation measures will greatly improve the framework but more importantly, doing this partnership with the Western Australian government, means more cooperation, information sharing and alignment.
“This is crucial in reducing the duplicative regulatory burden on industry without lowering environmental protections.”
The proposed measures will develop a consistent, standardised digital system to assist proponents, regulators and the community by providing greater access to shared environmental data, reduce duplication, and improve transparency.
“Ensuring Australia remains an attractive destination for investment is crucial for delivering energy security and sustainability for domestic and export customers,” Mr McConville said.
“Modernising and digitising the process means will be able to maintain high environmental standards while improving certainty, consistency and transparency across agencies and jurisdictions.”
APPEA will further engage in the design and use of the digital portal and database and in identifying further areas for improvements with the Deregulation Taskforce and within the review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act under Professor Graeme Samuel.