05/03/2008 - 22:00

In Brief: Environmental process under review

05/03/2008 - 22:00


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ENVIRONMENT Minister David Templeman and Environmental Protection Authority chairman Dr Paul Vogel have announced a wide-ranging review to streamline the state’s environmental approvals processes. Mr Templeman said Western Australia’s unprecedented resources boom provided an opportunity to reassess the effectiveness and efficiency of the state’s environmental impact assessment processes. “This boom means our economy and our population are burgeoning and there is frenetic activity in the mining and oil and gas industries that will only increase in the short term,” he said. “There is also growing complexity in the scope, range and technical aspects of development projects, which can further prolong the approvals process.” The review of the environmental approvals process will identify: ways to streamline the process and remove duplication; opportunities to better integrate environmental approvals with other approval processes; and innovations to better link developments with regional and sustainable environmental objectives. “We need to look at how we can improve the process to ensure better results for the environment, industry, the economy and the community as a whole,” Mr Templeman said. He said the core objectives of the state’s environmental watchdog would not be compromised. “This is not about cutting corners, it’s about improving the way we operate,” Mr Templeman said. A reference group will be established with representatives from industry, government, environmental consultancies, environmental groups and academia. The review is expected to take up to six months. Dr Vogel said he would use the experience gained from his leadership of the South Australian environmental regulatory reform program to ensure all sectors of the WA community were involved in the process.


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