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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
    The Honourable Andrew Powell

    One step closer to streamlining environmental approvals

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
    The Honourable Andrew Powell

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    One step closer to streamlining environmental approvals

    Streamlining environmental approvals is one step closer after the Federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP and the Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, the Hon Andrew Powell MP signed a draft memorandum of understanding in Canberra.

    The draft memorandum of understanding will now be shared with their respective leaders for their overall approval.  The aim is to achieve a one-stop shop to reduce red tape and provide certainty to business while maintaining the rigorous federal environmental standards.

    “The agreement is a significant step for the Australian Government as it puts in place measures to maintain current environmental protection while cutting the duplication and administrative burden which can unnecessarily delay major investments,” Minister Hunt said.

    “When fully implemented, the actions will simplify the approvals process for both the Federal and Queensland Governments,” Minister Hunt said

    “Mr Hunt and I are in agreement that a one-stop shop for environmental approvals will provide greater certainty for our economy,” Minister Powell said.

    “By setting the environmental bar high, to an agreed standard, businesses in Queensland will not have to jump over the same hurdle multiple times.

    ”What we will have is one process that gives business certainty and produces great environmental outcomes.”

    Mr Powell said it was refreshing to sit down with a Commonwealth environment minister who puts good public policy ahead of internal politics.

    “It was under the former State Queensland and Federal Labor Governments that the Australian public and international community raised concerns about the state of the Great Barrier Reef.

    “To that end we are in agreement in making decisions based on science that will ensure the long term sustainability of this iconic world heritage site.

    “Queensland is a great state with great opportunity and meeting with Mr Hunt and his team was a priority for me.”

    The one-stop shop will set high standards, make swift decisions and deliver certain outcomes.

    [ENDS]

    25 September 2013

    Media Contacts:         Jared Newton (Hunt)             0429 598 463

                                        Lynette Keep (Powell)            0419 620 299