Matt Canavan at Peak Downs mine in Central Queensland.
Matt Canavan at Peak Downs mine in Central Queensland.

Government moves to stop mining delays

THE Morrison Government has ordered a major review of resources sector regulations so future projects cannot be delayed for years like the recently approved Adani coal mine.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan will announce the 12-month Productivity Commission review on Monday at a major mining conference in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Mr Canavan said the review would examine best-practice for approvals in Australia and around the world in an attempt to remove unnecessary costs for business without watering down government oversight.

Matt Canavan at Peak Downs mine in Central Queensland.
Matt Canavan at Peak Downs mine in Central Queensland.

"We must make sure anything like Adani does not happen again," he said.

"No investor should have to wait 10 years for a yes or no answer.

"Thousands of jobs rely on us doing better in the future and I am keen to work with the states and territories to create more jobs in resources."

The Black Throated Finch is a serial offender when it comes to holding up major development projects.
The Black Throated Finch is a serial offender when it comes to holding up major development projects.

The Adani mine in the Bowen Basin was finally approved earlier this year when the Palaszczuk Government spectacularly backflipped and set regulators a deadline after years of delays.

The review is expected to look at the time approvals take in Australia and consider setting strict deadlines for regulators.

Changes would have to be set in each jurisdiction under individual planning and environmental acts.

The review could also consider how to restrict so-called lawfare cases, where activists use the legal system to repeatedly delay projects.

The Federal Government wants to speed up the mining approval process.
The Federal Government wants to speed up the mining approval process.

Lengthy delays for resources project approvals has alarmed the Federal Government, which believes it is getting harder than ever for new projects to get off the ground, restricting the sector's future expansion and costing jobs.

Complex layers of state and federal regulations were believed to be the biggest handbrakes on the sector.

A Government spokesman said the aim of the review was to ensure resources projects were assessed "transparently and efficiently" while maintaining "robust environmental standards".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has already launched a wider deregulation taskforce in an effort to free up business.

A statutory review of national environmental protection law is also due to start in October.