EDS Calls For Fast-track Approvals Bill To Be Abandoned In Submission To Select Committee


The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) has filed its final substantive submission on the Fast-track Approvals Bill.

“Our detailed analysis concludes that there is no need for the Bill and that it should not proceed to enactment,” said EDS Chief Executive, Gary Taylor.

“What is clear from the Bill is that it’s a fake premise, purporting to speed up decision-making when its real purpose is to enable environmental harm with impunity.

“Ministers will have unprecedented powers to approve pet projects. The public will be precluded from having any say. Development is given absolute priority in an astonishingly unbalanced set of decision-making criteria.

“Moreover, the process for giving selected projects a preferential consenting pathway via Schedules to the Bill is arguably unconstitutional, involving a process with no select committee or public scrutiny allowed. Coal, gold and offshore mining interests are very excited.

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“It is not an exaggeration to say that the legislation lacks legitimacy and is truly an exercise of unbridled power by Ministers.

“Existing fast-track provisions already enable very speedy decision-making on major projects without gutting all environmental protections. That process has seen an average timeframe of just 97 days for referred projects and 88 days for listed projects. There is no need to replace that law.

“EDS is publishing its extensive submission early to enable other concerned submitters to draw on our analysis,” Gary Taylor concluded.