Changes to environment protection will boost development – Goodenough

Changes to environmental regulations could drive development of the Neerabup industrial area.d422983
Changes to environmental regulations could drive development of the Neerabup industrial area.d422983

Mr Goodenough said the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Bill amendment, which passed through the House of Representatives in June, would affect both developments.

‘The most frequent comment when the topic of the Ocean Reef Marina is raised is ‘they have been talking about it for 20 years, when will the project really start?’,’ he said. ‘Attracting private sector investment will be the key driver for transforming the project into a reality.

‘The challenge is to find an experienced developer, preferably with marina development experience, with the financial capacity to fund a project of this magnitude. Until a private sector proponent is found, progress through the public sector will be slow.’

Mr Goodenough said the privately owned and managed Mindarie Marina was an example of a successful marina project.

The Bill amendment, which is currently before the Senate, was designed to create a one-stop shop for environmental approvals so businesses would not need to get federal approval after receiving state approval.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said duplication in environmental regulation between the federal government and states and territories added an unnecessary burden to business, increasing administrative and compliance costs, and delaying projects.

‘When the policy is fully implemented, state and territory governments will, for the first time, be able to make a single approval decision that accounts for both state matters and matters of national environmental significance,’ he said.

‘This will dramatically simplify environmental approvals and remove unnecessary bureaucracy, while maintaining the high standards set out in the EPBC Act.’