Big mining projects that could create thousands of jobs are taking far too long to secure regulatory approval, an industry advocate has complained.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan (pictured right) wants Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help cut the waiting time for state and federal authorities to give approval, so more construction can begin and more mine workers can be employed.
‘Too much duplication’
“The current approvals process is too slow and there is too much duplication at state and commonwealth levels,” McGowan said according to the Australian Associated Press.
The premier is proposing the federal government signs a new deal to establish an environmental approvals bilateral agreement with WA under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Such an agreement would give the State Government powers to do all the necessary environmental approvals themselves before issuing a single approval for specific projects. This would reduce major project approval turnaround times by about six months, duplication and expenses according to the premier.
“This is a vital agreement that would slash approval times for major projects and unleash jobs,” he said.
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If WA successfully implements the deal it could set a precedent for other states and territories to follow.