The Business Advisory Forum (BAF) has agreed to reform that will expedite environmental approvals and assessments at its inaugural meeting.


“We know that red tape is a huge issue for business. For the small business owner who has to spend hours on paperwork or filling out forms, to the big business that has to wait months or even years for project approvals,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement.


The BAF, which is made up of businesses leaders and state, territory and Federal leaders, outlined the following reform priorities:


  • Environmental approvals and assessments;
  • The Government has agreed to develop bilateral arrangements with the states to fast-track state assessments and approvals. This means states will be accredited to do certain Commonwealth assessments.
  • Major projects;
  • All levels of government agreed to work towards the creation of taskforces for major projects, so approvals are administered by a single state agency and unnecessary duplication is removed
  • Ending duplication in carbon and energy schemes;
  • Governments have undertaken to prioritise the completion of a review of policies and programs that are not complementary to the national carbon price and may be ineffective or inefficient.
  • Energy pricing;
  • Forum acknowledged the need to increase competition in energy markets. COAG will discuss bringing forward reviews of state and territory competition in retail electricity and natural gas markets and to ensure that energy regulation places greater weight on the outcomes for consumer.
  • Improving development assessments processes;
  • Best practice approach to risk based regulation.