Treasurers in push to slash dam green tape
CUTTING green tape that is strangling approvals for job-creating dams and mining projects will be high on the agenda when the nation's treasurers meet in Canberra today.
In the first meeting since the Coalition's shock election win, which saw the Palaszczuk Government approve the Adani mine after years of delays, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will raise slashing environmental approval waiting times with state colleagues.
It will include finding ways to remove any unnecessary green tape duplications.
It follows the Productivity Commission being ordered to investigate hold ups in approvals in the resources sector.
Boosting productivity as the economy faces difficult headwinds is the key goal of the talks, which will also look at reforms for health funding as well as kickstarting the economy through fast-tracking road, rail and other infrastructure projects.
There are 94 projects in planning or under way in Queensland at the moment, more than any other state.
The PM wrote to the premiers on August 28, saying the Commonwealth would consider bringing forward infrastructure spending if they could give assurances they would be delivered earlier.
The Federal Government has so far been reluctant to fast-track infrastructure spending, despite economic pressure, as it seeks to deliver the first surplus in a decade.
Opposition treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers this week reiterated his calls to bring forward spending on major projects "as part of getting the economy moving again".
There will also be continued discussions around developing a National Population Framework between the treasurers and Immigration Minister David Coleman following the meeting.
The population plan was first raised in February, with the intention of monitoring population growth and migration levels, while sharing data between the states.