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$176 billion a year lost to green tape – $7000 per Australian per year

Thanks to the IPA we can see just how fast green tape multiplies. In 1971 the first environmental laws covered just 57 pages. But now there are 4669 pages of laws. The IPA estimates that costs the nation $176b a year in lost economic opportunity. That’s a lot of jobs, and a lot of trees. *Apologies $176b corrected to million.

Dennis Shanahan, The Australian

Green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176b a year

That’s a curve that looks like the CO2 emissions. Does extra CO2 cause environmental laws? Could be…

Graph. IPA. Green-tape laws in Australia.

A tale of economic destruction:

The Adani central mining project application has been running for seven years and faced more than 10 court challenges. It includes a 22,000-page environmental impact statement.

In the Pilbara in Western Australia, the Roy Hill iron ore mine had to obtain 4000 separate licences, approvals and permits just for the pre-construction phase.

The Turnbull government vowed to review environmental laws to prevent activist groups’ legal challenges to development projects ranging from dams and roads to coalmines. It said challenges under section 487 of the Environment Act, which allows anyone with a “special interest in the environment” the right to challenge, were becoming more “vexatious and frivolous” . Of 32 legal challenges under the act that went to court, developers spent a cumulative 7500 days — or 20 years — in court even though 28 of the environmental cases were defeated and three required only minor technical changes to go ahead.

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