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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (14 August) . .

Page.. 2544..

Planning and Development (Bilateral Agreement) Amendment Bill 2014

Mr Gentleman, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (10.10): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Planning and Development (Bilateral Agreement) Amendment Bill 2014. This bill will put in place the required legislation to enable the ACT to sign up to the Australian government's one-stop shop for environmental approvals.

The commonwealth has committed to delivering a one-stop shop for environmental approvals that will accredit state and territory environmental planning systems under the commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, or EPBC Act, to create a single environmental assessment and approval process for nationally protected matters in each state and territory.

The commonwealth has introduced its Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 to facilitate the efficient and effective implementation of the Australian government's one-stop shop reform for environmental approvals.

Madam Speaker, the commonwealth legislation will enable the accreditation of state and territory government processes for environmental assessments and approvals. The ACT will approve proposals likely to impact on matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act without the proponent having to go through a separate process with the commonwealth.

Importantly, this will create a single point of contact for the entire assessment and approval process. The purpose of this approach is to reduce the regulatory burden on business and meet the planning requirements of both the ACT territory government and the commonwealth government while maintaining high environmental standards. Importantly, this agreement will ensure that areas of high conservation value are preserved or mitigated and that development and infrastructure delivered in the ACT is of the highest environmental standard.

Such reduction in regulatory burden and duplication will help to promote economic development in the ACT. It will also facilitate key government actions including land release and infrastructure development and this will facilitate long-term cost savings

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