A review into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) to examine the environmental regulatory framework and promote sustainable use of natural resources has been welcomed by Australia’s oil and gas industry.
The EPBC Act enables the Australian Government to join with all stakeholders in providing a framework for managing matters of national environment significance, heritage protection and biodiversity conservation.
APPEA Chief Executive Andrew McConville said the sector welcomed the review’s terms of reference and proposed timelines released by Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley today.
“The legislative review of the EPBC Act provides an important opportunity to ensure Australia has a strong, clear and competitive development approvals process,” Mr McConville said.
“There doesn’t need to be a trade-off between environmental outcomes and economic growth. APPEA supports the consideration of reducing regulatory burden while delivering equivalent or enhanced levels of environmental protection.
“Unfortunately, the EPBC Act and the approvals process that sits under it currently costs the economy. We welcome the Minister’s focus on reducing the regulatory and cost burden associated with this process.
“While the EPBC Act has served Australia well, this review is an opportunity to ensure the framework continues to deliver for all stakeholders while enhancing the time and efficiency of decision-making.
“Ensuring Australia remains an attractive destination for investment is crucial for delivering energy security and sustainability for domestic and export customers.”
Mr McConville said APPEA and its members are committed to sound resource and environmental management practices as an integral part of industry operations.
“We look forward to working with all key stakeholders through the consultation process over the next 12 months,” Mr McConville said.