21/11/2019 - 10:49

WA resources projects to save $23m a year

21/11/2019 - 10:49

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The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) has welcomed the federal government’s plan to deliver new deregulation measures for Australian businesses, saying it could save Western Australian resources projects more than $23 million each year.

Paul Everingham says CME has been working with the federal government since the establishment of the Deregulation Taskforce in June.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) has welcomed the federal government’s plan to deliver new deregulation measures for Australian businesses, saying it could save Western Australian resources projects more than $23 million each year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the deregulation reform last night, saying the government would partner with Western Australia to develop an environmental approvals online portal so proponents can submit and track environmental approval applications, reducing the current approvals process by 6-18 months and helping to push the state’s major projects forward.

Additionally, a biodiversity database to store and share information is being developed, which will also help speed up assessments and could be rolled out nationally.

CME chief executive Paul Everingham said the lobby group has been working with the federal government since the establishment of the Deregulation Taskforce in June.

“We recently met with the prime minister and his ministry and used the opportunity to share our members’ constructive suggestions,” Mr Everingham said.

“It’s very pleasing to see the government has acted so swiftly, so that it’s easier for companies to start projects, expand projects, create jobs and continue to strengthen the economy.”

Mr Everingham said the prime minister’s announcement was a “great start” to regulatory reform and called for further changes.

“What we’d also like to see is the introduction of a single and thorough environmental assessment and approvals process that reduces duplication and increased productivity,” Mr Everingham added.

Other announced measures include a new online checklist for employers and simplified business registers, making it easier and quicker for Australian businesses to interact with government and allowing them to view and manage their data in one location.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said the federal government would focus on busting obstacles that slow down or stop business investment and job creation.

“We want to create the space for businesses in our economy to back themselves and take our growth to the next level,” Mr Morrison said.

“Our deregulation agenda has a laser focus on reducing the regulatory compliance burden on business.

“The reforms we’re delivering hone in on what we’ve been hearing directly from Australian businesses that will help them grow and employ more people.”

Australia’s oil and gas industry also welcomed the announcement, with Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) chief executive Andrew McConville saying the new measures would reduce red tape and unnecessary regulation for Australian businesses, unlocking investment opportunities.

“This announcement represents an important step forward to improve and modernise the environmental approvals framework, which is currently time consuming, costly and complex,” Mr McConville said.

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