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Collaborative approach to EPBC Act welcomed by UDIA National

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) National welcomes the Government’s response to Professor Graeme Samuel’s review into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and supports the collaborative approach taken with all stakeholders.

It is early days on an ambitious and challenging policy reform, with much of the detail yet to be resolved, but the Government’s approach has given industry confidence that a system can be designed that balances the twin aims of streamlining the operation of the EPBC to improve environmental outcomes with quicker decision-making, and reversing the low supply of housing which is threatening to worsen the spiralling affordability crisis.

“The development industry has been aligned with the Commonwealth Government’s overall approach – land in need of protection should be preserved, and land that should be used to create our cities, towns and businesses must have a simple, clear framework that can be efficiently navigated for quick environmental decisions before committing to projects,” said Maxwell Shifman, UDIA National President.

“A Federal EPA and the EPBC Act must be rules based, transparent and accountable to the Minister so everyone can know clearly, upfront, whether land is open and available for development. This ensures industry and the businesses that rely on the approvals system, can focus on delivering development-ready land without endless delays, duplication of effort, ultimately driving up costs for consumers,” said Mr Shifman.

Getting this right is critical for the environment, industry and the community. Shortages of new land and dwellings, coupled with increasing costs and planning/approval delays, have driven up the cost of new homes, leading to higher rents and pushing more Australians into needing government supported housing that suffer from the same supply scarcity and stretched capacity.

The Federal Government’s response to the Samuel’s review is only the start. The critical work begins now, collaborating with industry, Government and all stakeholders on reforms to deliver an Environmental planning system that works.

UDIA National looks forward to working closely with Government and stakeholders to hammer out the details on this much-needed reform.


Media Enquiries:
Deanna Lane | National Media & Communications Manager | 0416 295 898 | media@udia.com.au