Green laws soar as new IPA report blasts cost to the economy
Green-driven "red tape" is leading to a "haemorrhaging" of Australia's business investment, says a new report.
There's been an 80-fold increase in green laws since the very first federal environment department was set up in 1971.
And according to the think tank Institute of Public Affairs, despite promises by the Federal Government to slash environmental red tape, there's been virtually no improvement since a previous audit three years ago.
NSW businesses have to deal with no fewer than 6910 pages of environmental regulation, report author and research fellow Morgan Begg says.
"This is a huge threat to projects which create opportunities for employment and economic growth," he said.
"Environmental red tape has caused a haemorrhaging to business investment which currently sits at just 11.2 per cent of GDP.
"This is lower than the rate which prevailed during the economically-hostile Whitlam years."
Since his previous report, just 29 pages, or 0.6 per cent, have been cut from the laws.
It is estimated red tape overall costs the Australian economy at least $176 billion, or 11 per cent of GDP a year in forgone economic output.
In NSW, the issue of green tape has come under the spotlight with the blocking of several new coal mines, including on the grounds of their overseas emissions. The Berejiklian Government will now review of the role of the Independent Planning Commission.
Mr Begg said burdensome green tape was a "huge threat to projects which create opportunities for employment and economic growth".
"Instead of bypassing slow-moving and inadequate regulations, the NSW Government should take the initiative to cut red tape by repealing burdensome environmental rules," he said.
He called for two solutions to be implemented - firstly for the government to remove two old regulations every time new regulation is introduced.
"Parliament should also eliminate duplication so that the states are given sole responsibility to craft their own environmental policies specific to their circumstances," he said.