Feds plan major approvals shake-up

THE federal government is proposing to extend the powers of a national Environmental Protection Agency to include approvals as part of raft of biodiversity conservation initiatives and bioregional plans.

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Mining industry groups fear the federal government’s move to change the environmental approvals process will further slow investments in mining projects.

The unexpected shift threatens to overshadow other changes in the government's response to Graeme Samuel's review into the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.