The Newman government has claimed significant cuts to red tape in Queensland’s resources sector will benefit both businesses and jobs.
Deputy premier and state development minister Jeff Seeney said the government’s Resources Cabinet Committee had made industry investment much easier.
The changes include streamlining the environmental impact statement (EIS) process, which large projects must undergo to ensure they get the green light for initiatives, while still protecting local areas.
Mr Seeney said new terms of reference have been decided by the co-ordinator general and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, which has cut the previous terms from 100 pages of requirements to just 25 pages.
“This is a great outcome for Queensland which considers itself a resources leader,” he stated.
“This huge reduction has been achieved by highlighting the critical matters the proponent should allocate the greatest study effort to in an EIS and by removing overly prescriptive and duplicate requirements.”
According to the deputy premier, the Resources Cabinet Committee’s focus on reducing the bureaucracy faced by companies operating within the state will mean more jobs are created for Queenslanders.
Removing overly prescriptive elements and delivering the best results is the most important part of streamlining resources projects, he said.
The benefits will be twofold, Mr Seeney added, with companies getting greater certainty over the profitability of schemes, while the resources community at large ensures improved results on the ground.
He commented: “The reforms will also deliver better outcomes for resource communities through a government case management role with industry, state and local government and Local Area Infrastructure Programs to prioritise community infrastructure investment.”
However, the Queensland government was quick to point out that despite the reduction in paperwork, this will not affect the quality of checks and balances, which will remain the same.