PM's one-stop environmental digital portal

Hannah Higgins

As part of the government's "combustion-busting" reform agenda, Scott Morrison has flagged a one-stop digital portal for companies seeking environmental approval for major projects.

The prime minister said it's capable of shaving between six to 18 months off approval times.

In a speech to the Business Council of Australia's annual dinner in Sydney on Wednesday, Mr Morrison told the audience the new portal would help get major projects off the ground more quickly.

"Environmental approval processes for major projects are overly complex, duplicative and they take too long," he said.

"As in other areas, digital technology gives us the opportunity to make these processes faster and simpler."

Mr Morrison said the new nationally consistent "digital environmental and approvals process" would reduce approval times and allow project coordinators to submit a single application via a single online portal.

"It takes approximately three-and-a-half years for a complex major project to navigate the state and Commonwealth environmental assessment processes," he said.

"It's estimated this time frame will be reduced by between six and 18 months."

Once an application is submitted, companies will be able to track the progress of their assessment and access a database of biodiversity studies relevant to their project.

Mr Morrison also flagged cuts to business red tape and industrial relations changes being among the next steps in the government's economic reform.

The prime minister said the government was looking at a number of other measures to ease the administrative burden on business.

This included a checklist to guide business owners looking to hire workers, easier business registration and a smoother export permit system.