• National: Independent review of EPBC Act scope announced

    2019-11-10

    National: Independent review of EPBC Act scope announced

    The Commonwealth Government has unveiled the scope of its long-awaited, independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
     
    The review has been an advocacy and policy priority for UDIA National given the red and green tape barriers imposed on new housing developments by the existing framework.
     
    Our priorities for the review include seeing the EPBC Act finally fulfil its original promise of a single, streamlined environmental assessment for major projects.
     
    Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has released details of the review, including its terms of reference and composition of the independent panel (see links below).
     
    UDIA National has engaged with Minister Ley in the lead up to the review’s commencement and will be meeting with her in Canberra in November.
     
    Our media commentary supporting the review and highlighting the burdens faced by housing developments was also highlighted in today’s Australian Financial Review.
     
    (See here: https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/green-tape-review-to-focus-on-project-approval-20191029-p5357r)
     
    UDIA has written to Minister Ley to emphasise the clear goals that should define the review. These include:

    - Establishing a timeline for completing outstanding bilateral agreements and strategic assessments, as well as updating existing bi-lateral agreements

    - An audit of progress against the ‘one-stop shop’ premise that underpins the EPBC Act and absorbing lessons from existing processes which work well

    - Resolving flaws in the process of strategic bio-certification to remove delays

    - Considering statutory timeframes for responding to applications

    - Producing a simpler and more effective regime for offsets

    - Lifting the quality, consistency and transparency of guidance

    - Ensuring proposed listings of matters of national environmental significance are underpinned by clear evidence and science. 

    UDIA National will be taking a detailed and coordinated approach to engaging with the review and ensuring the priorities of members are reflected in our submissions.
     
    Full details of the review and its terms of reference, as well as the composition of the independent panel, can be found here: https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/