The State Government has committed ,000 over the next four years to further improve the independence and transparency of Tasmania’s environmental management system.
Legislation to establish an Environment Protection Authority will be introduced into Parliament next year.
The Environment Protection Authority will ensure that the State’s environmental management system continues to meet increasing expectations for environment protection as well as encouraging sustainable development and industry.
Over the coming months there will be consultation on the model for the new Environment Protection Authority before the legislation is developed.
The State Government believes it is important that Tasmania has a strong and independent environmental regulator and that this is recognised by the community.
The EPA will operate at arm’s length from the Government and will further boost community confidence in the independence and transparency of environmental management and decision-making.
It will be responsible for making decisions on environmental matters and will be governed by a board with an independent chairperson.
Currently the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 covers forestry activities. It is anticipated that this will continue to be the case as the Environment Protection Authority is established
The EPA will further improve public confidence in the independence of environmental management and play a significant role in providing policy advice on environmental issues.
Amendments to the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 will be required to form the EPA and it is anticipated that these will be introduced during the autumn session of Parliament in 2007.