About the document
Since the Australian Government delivered its response to the Hawke Review in August 2011 we've been working to deliver a simpler environmental protection system that has clearer standards and gives faster decisions to ensure our nation has a both a resilient environment and a strong economy.
The Australian Government has been working with state and territory governments to develop robust partnerships and streamline environmental assessment and approval processes.
In April 2012 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to reform the administration of national environment regulation in order to reduce duplication and double-handling while maintaining high environmental standards.
Throughout 2012 the Australian Government progressed work to develop environmental approval bilateral agreements. As part of this process, the Australian Government publicly released a draft Framework of Standards for Accreditation (the Standards) on 2 November 2012. The draft Standards document was released to the states in July 2012 and has now been made publicly available with an added explanatory preface.
The draft Standards are an Australian Government document and form the basis for the Australian Government's approach to the development of bilateral agreements. They set out both:
- Standards for accreditation – which reflect the specific accreditation requirements of the EPBC Act, and requirements of Commonwealth law and policy that are essential for the Commonwealth to be satisfied that high environment standards will be maintained, and
- Commonwealth considerations – which provide additional guidance to jurisdictions on areas that the Commonwealth will take into account when determining whether the standards have been met.
The Standards build upon the Australian Government Statement of Environmental and Assurance Outcomes and the two documents should be read together.