THE Productivity Commission has been asked by the Australian Government to report within 12 months on Australia’s major project development assessment processes.

According to a statement released by the commission, the study will be presided over by Commissioner Jonathan Coppel and covers:

  • The regulatory objectives and key features of Australia’s major project development assessment processes at all levels of government; and
  • Benchmark the efficiency and effectiveness of jurisdictional approaches against best practice (including comparable international systems).

In announcing the study, Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation David Bradbury, said the Commission will look at ways of cutting red tape to allow major resources and infrastructure projects to get off the ground more quickly.

“Major projects in Australia are subject to a wide range of government regulations and development controls applied at all levels of government,” said Mr Bradbury.

“We want to ensure there are no unnecessary delays or impediments to bringing projects on line that will create new jobs and boost Australia’s productivity.”

Minister for Finance and Deregulation Senator Penny Wong, said the study will be an opportunity to consider the impact of development assessment processes across all levels of government on the costs incurred by business.

“The outcomes from this study will help deliver good regulatory outcomes for the public with appropriate transparency, timeliness and certainty,” Senator Wong said.

The Productivity Commission study will build on the work that the State and Territories are progressing separately to improve major project processes, including implementing a range of reforms to development assessment processes for low risk, low impact developments.

The full terms of reference that guide the issues of relevance to the study, are available here.