Australia’s peak voice for the civil construction industry, the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF), has supported the work and progress to get to net carbon zero emissions and the EPBC legislative review process it has participated in.

“The Civil Contractors Federation Australia supports in principle the legislative review and the creation of a National Environmental Protection Agency which was a key part of the Federal Labor election policy in 2022.,” said Nicholas Proud, Chief Executive Officer, Civil Contractors Federation National.

“Under the current regulatory framework, decisions must be made by the Minister within statutory timeframes; however, these are not always met, resulting in a loss of productivity as proponents await a determination.

The creation of a National EPA will hopefully remove this bottleneck and cut approval times.

“Whilst there is much to consider in terms of the draft legislative amendments there is potential to see greater opportunities for undertaking infrastructure development particularly wind farm and solar developments required as part of the energy transition.

“The EPBC Act undergoing review, with confidential consultation lockups allowing consideration of the key elements of changes needed to support a balance of development and making the energy transition. Suggestions which we believe are just that, that the review of the EPBC Act is delayed indefinitely are unhelpful.

“We know that a wind farm for example can take upwards of 10 years of planning and development approvals to come out of the ground and legislative review could speed this up. The civil works and the building of say 15 towers can be completed in 6-12 months, but current processes if not resolved will see environmental safeguards and even 2050 net emissions targets jeopardised.

“We all know the destination in 2050 is net carbon zero for Australia. We also know the road to this destination requires civil infrastructure to be at the first principle and we can’t reach this destination without a concrete road map.

“The Nature Positive reforms from the Commonwealth are going to have a significant impact on the Civil industry and the skills required to deliver the infrastructure that gets us to Net Zero and understand the Government has a road map to give our industry certainty.

“We should have further information on the consultation process, on the legislative review plan. We’d expect there’d be further detail on the future framework in our next consultations.

“Thousands of our contractors across Australia building roads, schools, and hospitals should have a clear understanding of when the next stage will be introduced and how new regulations will be implemented in relation to their business,” said Mr Proud