The government of Western Australia is seeking feedback on improving environmental legislation in the state.
In late October, the state government released a discussion paper outlining its plans to modernise environmental protection legislation, which the community and industry can have their say on.
The discussion paper, Modernising the Environmental Protection Act, presents the background to the proposed reforms and is accompanied by the release of an Exposure Draft Bill.
Some of the key changes proposed include:
- Reforming clearing provisions to deliver efficient, targeted, flexible and transparent outcomes;
- Improving efficiency by accreditation of environmental practitioners to certify documents prior to their submission; and
- Enabling cost recovery of environmental impact assessment and services provided by the State on behalf of the Commonwealth Government through bilateral agreements.
Updating the state’s environmental legislation supports the directions in the government’s 2017 Service Priority Review and the Streamline Western Australia initiative. Amendments are aimed at promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity to protect the environment.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said that amending the Environmental Protection Act will enable the state to address future challenges in order to continue to meet the expectations of community and industry in protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development.
“Transparency will be increased and processes for environmental impact assessment, clearing permits, works approvals and licences will be improved.
“I encourage all interested community and industry stakeholders to take the time to consider the issues in the paper and provide feedback. Your opinions are valued,” Dawson said.
Feedback during consultation will be used to finalise a bill for consideration by parliament.