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Farmers encourage Senate to pass 'one-stop shop' environmental laws

08 September, 2014

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) has called on the Senate to pass legislation to end the duplication between state and federal native vegetation management laws.

NFF President Brent Finlay said the NFF has long advocated for improvements to the complex national environmental law—the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

"The Government's proposed amendments to the EPBC Act will streamline environmental approvals by establishing a 'one-stop shop' in each state and territory. The one-stop shops will reduce red tape for farmers, and the NFF welcomes this reform," said Finlay.

"The one-stop shops will go a long way to ending the confusion of many farmers about their responsibilities under environmental law.

Farmer obligations

"Currently, a farmer complying with state laws could still be in breach of the EPBC Act. With a one-stop shop, farmers can know with certainty that the advice they receive from state regulators will also include advice on their obligations under the EPBC Act.

"After many years of talking about ending duplication, we now have governments across Australia working together to deliver long awaited change. Changes to the EPBC Act are required to enable the bilateral agreement process to be finalised.

"The NFF urges the Senate to pass the bill to amend the EPBC Act. I strongly encourage the cross-bench and Environment Minister Greg Hunt MP to work together to find a solution to the current impasse," said Finlay.

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