CCIQ supports further Green Tape reduction
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has today congratulated the State Government on commencing a process for reviewing the need for low risk environmentally relevant activities (ERAs).
Queensland currently regulates far more activities than any other state, primarily through regulation of lower risk industry types not regulated in other states.
For example, for the equivalent approvals in other states, Queensland has 13,000, compared to approximately 4,000 in NSW, 1,000 in Victoria and 1,200 in Western Australia.
This reduction in the stock of regulated activities benefits both the business and government sectors.
In addition to direct savings in application and annual fee costs there are also indirect cost saving including through reduced costs in the development assessment stage.
Applications for ERAs can take up to six months and actual ERAs are up to 50 pages in length and can cost up to $22,000 per annum.
The disproportionate number of activities regulated in Queensland compared to other states indicates that some lower risk activities can be managed without being regulated directly through state environmental legislation.
CCIQ President David Goodwin said, “The Queensland business community is aware it has a social responsibility to minimise the impacts its activities have on the environment and is committed to protecting Queensland’s natural heritage.”
“However environmental management and related regulation consistently arises as a key issue for Queensland businesses.
“In particular the overall complexity of environmental regulation and the high cost of environmental compliance are among the top concerns for businesses who over the past three years have been subject to increasing levels of “green tape” and environmental levies, fees and charges.”
This State Government has flagged ensuring a balance between environmental outcomes and business sustainability as a high priority.
Environmental protection and management should not come at the expense or limitation of business growth and is not a cost that should be born solely by the business community.
For these reasons the review of the need for ERAs is much supported by Queensland business community.
CCIQ overwhelmingly supports removing some ERAs from the list of regulated activities and the introduction of a streamlined approval process for the remaining ERAs which aligns with the environmental risks posed by the activity.
CCIQ is very pleased to be working with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on this project.