News | 17th Jul, 2013

Kevin Rudd to keep ‘green tape’ power

17 July 2013
Graham Lloyd – The Australian
THE Rudd government would resist a "green tape" push by business and retain the final decision-making powers for federal environmental approvals, new minister Mark Butler said yesterday.

The decision to take a full handover of powers off the table in discussions with business groups has put the federal government at odds with the opposition, which had promised a "one-stop shop".

Mr Rudd has said repairing relations with the business community was a top priority.

Mr Butler made it clear yesterday it was his intention to keep the final approval process with Canberra.

"We are very committed to an approvals process that leaves the final decision-making in the hands of the federal environment minister," he told The Australian yesterday.

Environment groups have said there was broad support for streamlining environmental decision-making and have called for meetings with business groups and government to consider possible reforms.
"If the business community is serious about finding a solution it will now reach out to the environment groups to find a solution," Wilderness Society national campaign director Lyndon Schneiders said.

In a speech to the National Press Club last week, the Prime Minister said "surely we should aim at having one single integrated assessment system, even if we continue to have two different decision points".
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