: Green tape

Green tape

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill

The new federal government has opened the way for further winding back ‘green tape’, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Queensland under which the state has power to make approvals under Commonwealth environmental legislation achieving a ‘one-stop shop to reduce red tape and provide certainty to business while maintaining the rigorous federal environmental standards.’ Welcomed by the Minerals Council of Australia as a ‘breakthrough’, the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland sees the move as a ‘retrograde step’.

Meanwhile the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Another Act Amendment Bill 2013 extends the life of existing sand mines on Stradbroke Island because ‘there is currently no … economic activity [alternative to mining] of comparable size … capable of generating a similar monetary injection or replacement for the current mining operations;’ and also to ‘reduce Queensland’s sovereign risk’. This supports further ‘streamlining’ of environmental regulation, including the opening up of national parks and reducing vegetation regulations on landholders, business, and government.

KATE GALLOWAY teaches law at James Cook University, and ALLAN ARDILL teaches law at Griffith University. At the time of going to press, the majority of these Bills had been passed.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 279
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