The Queensland Government has proudly continued to persecute its so called ‘war on green tape’ but announcing two new initiatives it says will put money back into the pockets of thousands of the state’s small businesses.

State Minister for the Environment, Andrew Powell, said the government would delete 20 environmentally relevant activity (ERA) thresholds, which he says will reduce environmental regulation and green tape by 20 per cent.

“Amendments to the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 will mean that, from 31 March, more than 9,400 small business operators will no longer need to apply for a licence or pay an application fee, and no longer need to submit an annual return,” Mr Powell said.

“These changes represent the most significant reform to licensing processes in more than a decade.

“ERA thresholds for activities that do not pose a high environmental risk, such as motor vehicle workshops, printing and abrasive blasting were deleted following extensive consultation with industry.

“After that consultation, it was clear that businesses need certainty to invest and flexibility to allow for growth. The amendments will deliver just that.

“The government has also halved fees for small sewage treatment plant operators which will ease the financial pressures on small tourism businesses like B&B’s and caravan parks.

“These changes will save small businesses more than $6 million in annual fees, and will let them get on with what they do best—contribute to a thriving economy and generating jobs without lowering environmental standards or protection.

“Although businesses conducting these activities will no longer need to obtain an environmental approval, they must still uphold environmental standards”.

Mr Powell said the environmental standards would be enforced under a new Regulatory Strategy which reflected a fundamental shift in the way environmental and heritage regulatory activities were undertaken.