EPBC Cost Recovery Submission
Property Council of Australia and UDIA National are strong supporters of the Government’s initiative to overhaul the Environmental Protection, Biodiversity and Conservation (EPBC) system to streamline assessments and approvals and otherwise improve environmental, social and economic outcomes. We appreciate the Minister and department’s consultative approach to a complex and important suite of reforms.
We are however increasingly concerned that the Cost Recovery Initiative has several fundamental problems that if not rectified, will fatally undermine EPBC reform before it has a chance to prove itself.
It is essential that the Department is appropriately funded to be able to undertake environmental assessments efficiently and effectively. We agree with the principle of user pays to ensure the efficient delivery of government services. Any cost recovery model however must be based on appropriate costing assumptions and efficient work effort, including careful allocation of productive resources to balance private benefit and public good. Any cost recovery mechanisms must be designed to incentivise continuous improvement of government service delivery including achievement of target timeframes.
The full submission can be found here