The Australian Government is signing New South Wales up to its 'One-Stop Shop' scheme for environmental assessment and approvals.

A new bilateral agreement on assessments under national environment law has been put up for public comment.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt says the “enhanced” agreement will replace a bilateral agreement currently in place, cutting steps out the process to make approvals faster and easier for businesses.

Hunt says “the highest standards of environmental protection” will be maintained.

“Under this agreement, NSW will be accredited to conduct a project assessment under national laws and provide the Australian Government with a recommendation on whether to approve a project and what conditions should be attached to that decision under federal environment law,” Mr Hunt said.

“It is concrete evidence that our governments are progressively delivering on our shared objective to provide efficient, thorough and transparent environmental regulation in NSW while minimising duplication.”

NSW Minister for Planning, Pru Goward, said that the NSW Government will provide federal counterparts with advice.

“This will include jointly seeking expert advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development for projects that are likely to have a significant impact on a water resource,” she said.

"”mportantly, opportunities and timelines for the community to have a say about major developments are not proposed to change.

“This is about reducing needless hold-ups caused by two governments passing projects back and forth between them while they are being assessed.

“It means that projects in NSW will go through a single, NSW process.

“This agreement also recognises New South Wales' rigorous and transparent approach to determining offset requirements under its newly finalised NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects,” Ms Goward said.

More information can be found here.