Australia’s green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176bn a year ($7k per person per year)

Australia’s green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176bn a year ($7k per person per year), by Dennis Shanahan.

The number of pages of commonwealth environmental laws has ballooned more than 80-fold since they began in 1971 and are costing the nation $176 billion a year in lost economic opportunity.

$176 billion a year is $7,000 per person per yer — or $35,000 per year for a family of five. Sounds a little large, but there is probably something substantial there.

In 1971, when the McMahon Liberal government introduced the first commonwealth ­environment laws under the new Department of Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, they ­covered just 57 pages of legislation and regulation.

Last year, federal environmental laws stretched to 4669 pages of rules and regulations after peaking at 5004 pages in 2014 just after the Coalition ousted the Rudd-Gillard Labor government. …

The [Institute of Public Affairs] has calculated that red tape, not just so-called green lawfare that activists employ to delay and frustrate large developments, is costing the economy $176bn a year in foregone output.

The study highlighted the plight of the Adani Carmichael mine project in central Queensland, which has been targeted by activists trying to stop the Galilee basin opening to coal mining.

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.

hat-tip Joanne