Tasmania's mining sector is pushing for changes to regulations it says are being used to hold up and kill new projects.
" ... the current approvals processes are being subjected to counterproductive manoeuvres with the objective of tying up developers for extended periods in the hope investment funds will be depleted before a ruling is made on the application," Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council chief executive Ray Mostogl told the Productivity Commission in a letter accompanying the group's submission to a study into regulation in the resources sector.
Mr Mostogl said the peak body supported strong standards "to underpin a sustainable industry" and its submission was focused on "efficiency with genuine priority matters, now on lowering any approval standards".
Environmentalist "lawfare" has caused long delays to various mining projects around the nation, including in Tasmania.
The group's submission said Tasmania had become a "can't do kind of state" because of the issue.
"We have earned an unfortunate but regrettably well deserved reputation as being a place where things cannot get done," it said.
National environmentalist group the Wilderness Society also wants changes.
In the society's submission, national director Lyndon Schneiders said the federal government's most recent State of the Environment report made it clear the existing approach to environmental protection and sustainable development was failing.
"Most key environmental indicators are in decline and this direction is likely to be accelerated by the biophysical impacts of climate change," Mr Schneiders said.
"It is also clear that the community concerns about the environmental impacts associated with Australia's resource sector continue to be significant and have grown over the past several years."
The Wilderness Society and the wider The Places You Love Alliance have proposed replacing the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act with "new generation" national environmental laws and institutions, which would potentially make it much harder for many projects to proceed
They proposed a new approvals system led by the federal government which would be related to international deals, such as sustainable development goals and the Paris climate change agreement, and require proponents to show how projects would contribute to "continuous environmental improvement".
The Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council urged changes to the bilateral approvals system involving Canberra and the states, arguing decisions on matters under the EPBC Act should be made when all relevant material was available, without waiting until all assessment and approval conditions for the "much more comprehensive state matters" had been finalised.
"Tasmania's approval systems are being gamed by environmental NGOs, whose clear intentions are to politically and economically sabotage development that they don't like by causing delays and frustrations to projects that otherwise pass every reasonable and lawful environmental test," its submission said.
The federal government asked the Productivity Commission to look into the regulations.
A draft report is expected in March.