- Improved cost recovery model to grow economy and create jobs
- Increased revenue generated from new model to be returned directly to the department to improve timeliness of environmental approvals
The McGowan Labor Government is today introducing an improved cost recovery model for environmental regulation to speed up approvals, grow the economy and create jobs in line with common practice in other jurisdictions.
These changes will address delays in environmental approvals decision making by driving efficiencies and improving service delivery in the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
They will also ensure that industry is paying its fair share towards regulatory activities, which is critical in the State's current fiscal environment.
The improved cost recovery for environmental regulation services will generate an additional $19.4 million over the next four years for the agency.
About 57 per cent of the additional revenue will be used to employ additional staff in environmental regulation and compliance functions.
The remaining 43 per cent will be invested in online systems to create a streamlined online application process to improve the timeliness of decision making on environmental approvals.
The move is part of the McGowan Labor Government's response to the increasing demand for environmental assessments and approvals associated with economic growth.
It will also help to address the downturn in performance in recent years, which resulted from a lack of approvals process reforms.
Delays and backlogs in environmental regulation can slow economic activity and hold up critical infrastructure projects for the State.
These changes better reflect the true cost of environmental regulation for industry and will help reduce red tape, promote economic development and create jobs.
Improving decision making timeframes will also support the emerging turnaround of the State's economy.
There will be a staged introduction of the cost recovery model, starting on July 1, 2018 for industry regulation.
For more 2018-19 State Budget information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"We are seeing an upturn in the State's economy and it is important that this growth is supported by timely decision making on the relevant assessments, approvals and permits.
"By improving cost recovery and investing the resulting revenue in creating jobs and improving systems, we will reduce red tape and improve service delivery for industry.
"Consistent, timely and transparent environmental decision making benefits industry, the community, the economy and the environment.
"These changes better reflect the true cost of doing business for industry and mean that WA taxpayers will no longer subsidise the cost of these environmental approvals processes."
Minister's office - 6552 5800