Reports say the federal Coalition began planning to transfer environmental powers to states months before a review that was meant to inspire the move.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Western Australian premier, Mark McGowan, that he wanted to transfer environmental approval powers to state governments in February this year.

This was before a review of Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, which the government used as the basis when it eventually announced the plans to transfer power.

A spokesperson for the Wilderness Society said it appears that the national environmental laws were “aimed at delivering a predetermined outcome”.

More details are available here.