The Queensland Government wants your opinion on improvements needed to resource assessment in Qld. Here's how to make a submission.
The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy has opened a consultation period on opportunities to improve resource approval efficiency. We have assumed the government means resource ‘assessment’ efficiency (approval is only one possible outcome!).
Submissions are due 5pm, Thursday 4 October.
See here for DNRME website page inviting submissions.
We recommend all concerned get submissions in on this consultation process to support the significant need for improvements to the robustness of upfront assessment and more meaningful community participation rights.
We strongly support increasing efficiency and reducing duplication but, as stated in the invitation to this consultation, “not at the risk of impacting on the rights of our community or environmental values”. Clear, strong regulation of environmental impacts and meaningful community participation are both essential ingredients in ensuring good quality decisions are made and the risk of corruption in decision making is reduced.
Small and big changes could be made that greatly improve the efficiency of the assessment process that benefit the industry, government, community and the environment. Some of our thoughts are provided in the attachment to help you with your submissions.
A summary of key areas for change we recommend:
- Meaningful post-approval Court merits appeal power for government decisions
- Clear and certain ‘no go areas’ to protect ag land, biodiversity and townships
- Clear requirements for assessment to remove uncertainty for all stakeholders thereby greatly increasing efficiency.
- Repeal the extensive powers of the Coordinator-General to overrule all other departments and the Land Court – hindering decision making and wasting resources of all stakeholders
- Stop unlimited extensions of applications - Set maximum time periods for EIS with limited extensions and lapsing applications
- Improve ease of access to information to reduce inefficiencies and improve quality of assessment
- Provide extended standing in EP Act, as provided in the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) and fed environment law to avoid court time wasted on standing applications
Submissions close 5pm Thursday, 4 October 2018.
To provide a submission:
Email: ResourcesPolicy@dnrme.qld.gov.au; or
Mineral and Energy Resources Policy
Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
PO Box 15216
City East QLD 4002