New Ground | Expert Environmental Consultants in Queensland

Nature Positive Plan Update

Second Stage of the Nature Positive Plan Announced 

In the evolving landscape of environmental legislation, delays can add layers of uncertainty. At New Ground, we’ve been closely monitoring the developments surrounding the EPBC Reforms and we are committed to keeping you updated as new information comes to light. In today’s blog we’ll discuss the second stage of the Nature Positive Plan announced recently by the Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek. 

These developments aim to strengthen environmental protections, streamline approval processes, and increase transparency—efforts that align closely with our commitment to sustainable development and efficient environmental management. The upcoming changes introduce new dimensions of compliance and opportunities, which we believe will reshape the landscape for environmental consulting and planning.

Environment Protection Agency (EPA)

In a previous blog, we discussed some key features of the plan, including the establishment of Australia’s first independent Environment Protection Agency (EPA). This second stage announcement highlights enhancements to environmental power – including the power to issue Environmental Protection Orders to any party found breaking the law, and issuing higher penalties. Additionally, the EPA will improve guidance and education efforts to clarify the rules for businesses, helping them to adhere to the regulations.

Environment Information Australia (EIA) 

Another significant development is the creation of Environment Information Australia (EIA). This new body will equip businesses with easier access to crucial environmental data, facilitating smarter and faster decision-making processes. The EIA will be required to publish State of Environment reports every two years, instead of five, which will enhance transparency, allowing industries and the public to stay informed about the nation’s environmental health.

Implications for Businesses

The streamlined processes for environmental approvals, backed by a substantial $100 million investment, are set to reduce waiting times for project green lights, including in sectors like renewables and critical minerals. This not only aids in quicker project commencements but also aligns with broader national goals for sustainable development.

For companies like ours, these reforms are particularly pertinent. They offer a clearer framework within which to operate, reducing ambiguities and allowing a more conducive environment for compliance and strategic planning.

Looking Ahead

In the coming weeks, as these laws proceed to Parliament, it presents an opportune moment for businesses and stakeholders in the environmental sector to align their strategies with the anticipated regulations. This update also indicates that an exposure draft of the new laws will be made available for public consultation before they are formally introduced to Parliament.

At New Ground, we remain at the forefront, ready to assist our clients in navigating these changes and seizing opportunities for sustainable growth. Our team is here to help you understand these changes and integrate them into your project strategies. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert advice on how these changes will affect your project’s environmental approval process. 

Want a free checklist?

When Do you need to talk to an ecological consultant?

Sign up to our mailing list and get a copy!

We’ve made a simple self-help checklist to help you identify when you might want to get us involved. Engaging an ecological consultant for a property project is crucial for a multitude of reasons, but when do you need to pick up the phone for a chat?