More than $36 million has been earmarked to help infrastructure projects get the tick of approval and hand federal environmental approval powers to the states.
The package is part of the federal budget and will be spent over two years to speed up environmental approvals and implement more reforms to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Included in the $36.6 million package is $8.8 million to expedite the approvals of 15 major infrastructure projects, which the government spruiks as supporting thousands of jobs and bringing in millions of dollars in investment.
The current approval regime was deemed "ineffective" by an interim review from former competition watchdog boss Graeme Samuel.
The funding also includes $10.6 million to help the federal government pass on its environmental approvals to the states, in a bid to remove duplication.
Environmental groups fear this will weaken the process and further damage Australia's biodiversity.
The opposition's environment spokeswoman Terri Butler says federal Labor governments have stepped in to protect the Franklin River, the Daintree, Kakadu and the Fraser Island world heritage areas.
The step comes from Professor Samuel's interim review of the EPBC Act, but the government has rejected his key recommendation of establishing an independent environment watchdog.
His interim report said Australia's natural environment was under increasing threat and declining at an unsustainable pace.
Under the shift in approvals states would have to follow national environmental standards, but they have not yet been developed by the federal government.
The funding also includes $2.5 million for further policy work that will eventuate when Professor Samuel hands down his final report later this month.
More than $12 million will go towards completing environmental assessments and approvals quicker.
The federal budget also includes $249.6 million towards Australia's waste and recycling sector, which the government says will create 10,000 jobs over the next decade.
Protecting ocean and marine ecosystems will get $67.4 million while national parks are set to receive more than $319 million.
The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the funding but says it's not enough.
The organisation says more than $1 billion a year is needed to restore Australia's landscapes and stop extinction.
Australian Associated Press