Coronavirus: cut green tape delay on projects, miners say – by Geoff Chambers (The Australian – May 10, 2020)

Australia’s six peak mining and ­resources groups are pushing for a major overhaul of environmental laws, calling for the removal of “unnecessary duplication and complexity” to provide greater certainty for businesses.

In a joint submission to the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, led by former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chair Graeme Samuel, the mining sector warns companies are facing delay costs of up to $1m a day.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said Australia was facing an unprecedented economic and social threat from the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing reforms of the EPBC Act would help reduce ­delays in project approvals and fast-track projects.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley last month flagged reforms to the EPBC and the government’s commitment to cut green tape to “get rid of unnecessary delays”.

Professor Samuel will deliver an interim report by June and a final report by October. “We are getting congestion out of the system and we will continue to do so as the economy comes through the COVID-19 crisis,” Ms Ley said.

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