The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has been advocating for a more streamlined and efficient approvals system at the Federal level and is pleased to see the announcement from the Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt.

“The fact that the Government has approved the framework for achieving a one-stop-shop to streamline environmental approvals is a step forward for achieving a mutually beneficial arrangement for the states and the Federal Government,” said AMEC national policy manager Graham Short.

“Ultimately, accreditation of the states will remove duplication in the approvals process, making the system more efficient, reducing timelines and the cost of approvals for the mining sector and the Federal Government. The delegation of approvals powers to accredited states would still ensure that the same rigorous environmental standards as set out in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act are upheld.

“AMEC has been a strong advocate for streamlining the approvals process through the delegation of Federal assessment and approval powers under the EPBC Act to accredited states and territories through the bi-lateral agreements process.

“After many discussions with all levels of government over the past years, AMEC is pleased to see the Coalition Government uphold their pre-election commitments to start streamlining the approvals process and help restore confidence and international competitiveness to the resources industry.

“The ‘Water Trigger’ amendment to the EPBC Act passed in June this year is another symptom of the overregulation and duplication imposed on industry. This amendment requires that the Federal Minister for the Environment must take advice from the Commonwealth’s new Independent Expert Scientific Committee, which is already considered at state level.

“AMEC calls on the Minister for the Environment to repeal the ‘Water Trigger’ amendment which adds duplication of approvals and delays without additional environmental benefits,” said Graham Short.

Meanwhile, AMEC has also been advocating for parallel processing and removing roadblocks to mineral exploration in Queensland for some time now and is pleased to see the response from Minister Andrew Cripps regarding the overhaul of the approvals process.

“Under the proposed changes, exploration companies will be formally advised within 90 days whether their program of works has been approved. This is a significant improvement on the current average of 22 months,” said AMEC regional manager Bernie Hogan.

“This will reduce the uncertainty in applications and allow explorers to engage with other stakeholders faster and with more certainty, whilst maintaining the high environmental standards. The proposed changes will also mean applications subject to native title considerations can apparently be decided in less than 12 months. It is imperative that decisions are made quickly, transparently and fairly so that explorers, landholders, traditional owners and communities can work together to get real outcomes.

“The new process demonstrates the Newman Government is committed to supporting exploration success in Queensland. This will at least allow Queensland to compete to attract exploration investment and have the potential to generate jobs and revenue streams for the state.”

Bernie Hogan and AMEC have also welcomed an announcement from New South Wales Resources Minister Chris Hartcher that the NSW Government has amended its mining lease standards to reduce duplication. “Reducing unnecessary duplication at both the state and the federal level will ultimately reduce timeframes and costs, making the system more efficient, whilst maintaining rigorous environmental standards.

“However, the NSW Government amendment to mining lease standards does not go far enough and does not recognize the importance of exploration to the mining industry. “Without exploration, there would be no mining activity or mining leases required,” said Bernie Hogan.
www.amec.org.au

APPROVALS - AMEC applauds Federal framework
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has been advocating for a more streamlined and efficient approvals system at the Federal level and is pleased to see the announcement from the Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt.

“The fact that the Government has approved the framework for achieving a one-stop-shop to streamline environmental approvals is a step forward for achieving a mutually beneficial arrangement for the states and the Federal Government,” said AMEC national policy manager Graham Short.

“Ultimately, accreditation of the states will remove duplication in the approvals process, making the system more efficient, reducing timelines and the cost of approvals for the mining sector and the Federal Government. The delegation of approvals powers to accredited states would still ensure that the same rigorous environmental standards as set out in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act are upheld.

“AMEC has been a strong advocate for streamlining the approvals process through the delegation of Federal assessment and approval powers under the EPBC Act to accredited states and territories through the bi-lateral agreements process.

“After many discussions with all levels of government over the past years, AMEC is pleased to see the Coalition Government uphold their pre-election commitments to start streamlining the approvals process and help restore confidence and international competitiveness to the resources industry.

“The ‘Water Trigger’ amendment to the EPBC Act passed in June this year is another symptom of the overregulation and duplication imposed on industry. This amendment requires that the Federal Minister for the Environment must take advice from the Commonwealth’s new Independent Expert Scientific Committee, which is already considered at state level.

“AMEC calls on the Minister for the Environment to repeal the ‘Water Trigger’ amendment which adds duplication of approvals and delays without additional environmental benefits,” said Graham Short.

Meanwhile, AMEC has also been advocating for parallel processing and removing roadblocks to mineral exploration in Queensland for some time now and is pleased to see the response from Minister Andrew Cripps regarding the overhaul of the approvals process.

“Under the proposed changes, exploration companies will be formally advised within 90 days whether their program of works has been approved. This is a significant improvement on the current average of 22 months,” said AMEC regional manager Bernie Hogan.

“This will reduce the uncertainty in applications and allow explorers to engage with other stakeholders faster and with more certainty, whilst maintaining the high environmental standards. The proposed changes will also mean applications subject to native title considerations can apparently be decided in less than 12 months. It is imperative that decisions are made quickly, transparently and fairly so that explorers, landholders, traditional owners and communities can work together to get real outcomes.

“The new process demonstrates the Newman Government is committed to supporting exploration success in Queensland. This will at least allow Queensland to compete to attract exploration investment and have the potential to generate jobs and revenue streams for the state.”

Bernie Hogan and AMEC have also welcomed an announcement from New South Wales Resources Minister Chris Hartcher that the NSW Government has amended its mining lease standards to reduce duplication. “Reducing unnecessary duplication at both the state and the federal level will ultimately reduce timeframes and costs, making the system more efficient, whilst maintaining rigorous environmental standards.

“However, the NSW Government amendment to mining lease standards does not go far enough and does not recognize the importance of exploration to the mining industry. “Without exploration, there would be no mining activity or mining leases required,” said Bernie Hogan.
www.amec.org.au

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