Single Touch Approvals


Aestra was engaged by the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) to provide policy support to inform the policy underpinning the Single Touch Approvals reform.

Single Touch Approvals under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) aimed to deliver streamlined environmental assessment and approvals processes under the EPBC Act by accrediting State and Territory processes.

We worked collaboratively within the reform taskforce to develop strategic policy positions, facilitate workshops with internal subject matter experts (including legal), deliver strategic policy training for officers and brief Senior Executive. Leveraging our EPBC Act expertise we developed a number of policy positions, including:

  • a framework and assessment tool to assess the capacity and capability of jurisdictions to meet the requirements of the EPBC Act prior to accreditation under the Single Touch Approvals reform.
  • an approach to managing cross-jurisdictional implementation issues for developments with impacts which span more than one jurisdiction.
  • an approach to engaging with First Nations Australians on the proposed reform, with consideration of the statutory requirements of the EPBC Act.
  • a framework for assessing whether accredited jurisdictional frameworks can promote and enhance environmental outcomes for nationally protected matters.

Our strategic policy advice supported DCCEEW to identify and address key risks associated with the delivery of the Single Touch Approvals agenda and develop clear policy rationale to support the development of a bill to Parliament.


Photo credit: Aestra, 2019.