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Agreement to allow Qld to handle environmental approvals

Australian Greens’ Queensland Senator Larissa Waters has concerns, saying it gives too much power to a government which is unapologetically ramping up development.
Australian Greens’ Queensland Senator Larissa Waters has concerns, saying it gives too much power to a government which is unapologetically ramping up development.

QUEENSLAND and the Federal Government have formally signed an understanding to allow the state to handle environmental approvals for major projects with the guidance of the Commonwealth.

In practice, this would mean hoops usually jumped through by developers when dealing with the state, then again at a federal level, would now be handled at the same time.

Supporters expect it will save massive projects - including resource projects - not just millions of dollars but many months or years of waiting.

Both levels of government are promising no loss to environmental standards, just an end to duplication.

"That means the same strict environmental standards but ensures swift decisions and more certainty, whilst increasing jobs and investments in Queensland," according to a joint statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Premier Campbell Newman.

Conservation and green groups are unconvinced, saying it gives too much power to a government which is unapologetically ramping up development.

Australian Greens' Queensland Senator Larissa Waters is one of those with concerns.

"To the delight of their big business buddies, two of Australia's worst environmental vandals have today struck a deal to start unwinding 30 years' worth of protection for Queensland's nationally significant environmental icons," she said.

"The Prime Minister and Premier's assurances that this is all just about removing duplication could not be further from the truth."

New legislation introduced by the former Labor government to force developments affecting water supply to require special Federal approval remain in place.

Topics:  commonwealth environment federal government larissa waters queensland government



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