Submission regarding the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Bills 2014

Submission to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation and Cost Recovery) Bills 2014

The BCA supports maintaining Australia’s environmental regulatory standards while at the same time streamlining their operation and effectiveness. The changes made in the EPBC Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014 will contribute to maintaining or improving environmental outcomes while also removing duplication of environmental regulation. 

The submission argues that the ‘water trigger’ should be repealed as it duplicates state and territory regulatory arrangement, and that while it remains part of the EPBC Act, the Commonwealth should have the power to accredit state and territory processes that meet environmental standards for the purposes of approvals and assessments in relation to the 'water trigger.'

In relation to the EPBC Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2014, we also call for the implementation of cost recovery to adhere to the Department of Finance’s guidelines, which state that cost recovery should reflect efficient costs and should not be undertaken for processes which are duplicative.