05/08/2019 - 11:05

Mining approvals set for 12-month review

05/08/2019 - 11:05

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Mining project approval delays will be the target of a one-year Productivity Commission review looking at how to streamline regulation across Australia's resources sector.

The Productivity Commission is seeking to make the mining approvals process more efficient.

Mining project approval delays will be the target of a one-year Productivity Commission review looking at how to streamline regulation across Australia's resources sector.

The commission will examine best-practice examples of regulation that reduces unnecessary costs for business, while maintaining sound oversight.

In a joint statement Resources Minister Matt Canavan, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Ben Morton and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said improving the efficiency of environmental approvals was key.

"All Australians have a stake in the resources sector and the benefits must be shared fairly," they said.

"It has become harder than ever to get new resources projects off the ground, restricting the sector’s future expansion and costing jobs right across Australia."

Major delays to projects like Adani's Carmichael coal mine, which took nine years to get final approval, will be in the study's crosshairs.

A statutory review of the national environmental protection law is also due to kick off in October.

"The aim is to ensure that resources projects are transparently and efficiently assessed, while upholding robust environmental standards," the ministers said.

The Productivity Commission study will examine community engagement practices, including land-access and benefit-sharing practices by industry, governments and other bodies.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA chief executive Paul Everingham welcomed the announcement and said excessive and outdated regulation was hampering major projects from getting off the ground,

“In announcing the Productivity Commission review, the federal government admitted the resources sector was being held back by complex layers of state and federal regulations and it has become harder than ever to get new resources projects off the ground,” he said.

“While a high standard of approvals is essential for environmental outcomes, the current inefficient and duplicative processes that our mining and oil and gas members have to navigate is holding the sector back rather than allowing it to grow and remain internationally competitive."

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