The Queensland Government has introduced a Bill before State Parliament that will attempt to streamline the regulatory process for environmental approvals

The Environmental Protection (Greentape Reduction) and Other Legislation Bill provides for four broad initiatives aimed at reducing ‘greentape’. These are:

  • Developing a licensing model that is proportionate to the risk of the activity. Through extensive consultation and review, it has become apparent that the current system regulates lower risk activities to the same extent as those with a high environmental risk. This unnecessarily increases costs and effort, and does not focus on the environmental outcomes of the activity.
  • Providing flexible operational approvals for environmentally relevant activities (ERAs). The current system is inconsistent with the needs of modern business. The flexible operational approvals initiative provides a framework which allows for multiple sites, multiple activities and complex and varying ownership structures.
  • Streamlining the process for resources approvals will significantly reduce the complexity of the current approvals system. A simpler approvals system will reduce time delays and education and training costs for both business and government.
  • Improving the quality of information provided to both business and government to save time and money for both parties. The proposal will ensure only information that is necessary and relevant to making the decision will be required.

Further information on the Bill is available at

The Queensland Government has released the environmental impact statement  (EIS) for the $6.6 billion Kevin's Corner coal mine project for public comment.

A new study has found that the warming ocean climate is causing seaweed communities, on which fauna survive, to retreat to the brink of the continent and possibly extinction.

Two separate reports published by the Federal Government have examined the potential for renewable energy development in regional Western Australia.

The Department of Climate change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) has released the Solar Cities Catalyst for Change background paper, outlining the current and future goals of the Solar Cities program.

Victoria’s Department of Sustainability the Environment (DSE) has opened the first round of the $20 million Communities for Nature Grants.

A recent carbon audit has found that Forests NSW is successfully using 32,100 of forest to reduce the state’s carbon emissions.

The Queensland Government has introduced the Biosecurity Bill 2011 before State Parliament that will see the seven separate Acts that govern biosecurity in Queensland brought under the single Bill.

The University of Western Sydney, TAFE Western Sydney Institute and the Hawkesbury Environmental Network (HEN) have signed an agreement to contribute to protecting and maintaining the health and vitality of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River.

A new regulation under current environmental law will prohibit the reintroduction of cattle grazing to the Alpine National Park in Victoria without due assessment of the potential environmental damage.

The Victorian Government has released the findings of an independent review into water quality issues in the Anglesea River.

Centennial Coal has been ordered to pay $1.45 million after its mining operations on the Newnes Plateau inflicted significant damage to the temperate highland peat swamps on sandstone ecological community.

The Federal and Tasmanian governments have announced a voluntary exit package of up to $45 million to assist forestry contractors to leave the industry.

Former Reserve Bank board member Professor Warwick McKibbin has called for the Federal Opposition to withdraw its pledge to scrap the Federal Government’s carbon tax, saying they should concentrate on repairing the scheme.

A consortium of climate change investment groups have called for long-term climate change and clean energy policies to allow for significant opportunity growth in clean and renewable energy technology, and energy efficiency.

The South Australian Government has released the Renewable Energy Plan for South Australia, providing an agenda for future growth of the state’s renewable energy sector.

The South Australian Government has released draft legislation that will see all mining activity banned from the Arkaroola area.

The Commonwealth and Victorian governments have announced a new agreement that will deliver the country’s largest irrigation infrastructure renewal project and will see 214 gigalitres returned to the Murray for environmental flows.

The Western Australian Government has released the draft management plan for the 3,000 hectare Tuart Forest National Park for a two-month public consultation period.

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has warned industry groups to avoid purchasing more international or future local carbon tax credits than they currently need, saying that his party will repeal the tax if he takes office next election.

Queensland farmers and lessees of state land will have the opportunity to earn carbon credits from planting trees or managing regrowth on cleared land.

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