Report of the Third Review of the National Environment Protection Council Acts (Commonwealth State and Territory) December 2012 National Environment Protection Council Response to the Report of the Third Review of the National Protection Council Acts
Tabled paper 599
Tabled papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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5 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 environmental quality standards and establishing a basis for consistent regulatory requirements (such as the National Pollutant Inventory and Movement of Controlled Waste). National Environment Protection Measures are an important tool for national action for environment protection and should be retained. OBJECTIVES OF THE ACTS (4.1) The review considered whether the objects of the Acts remain current and consistent with the policy intention in establishing consistent national standards and requirements. The review noted that the objects are framed in terms of the establishment of the National Environment Protection Council and that the Council of Australian Governments has required that the Standing Council on Environment and Water proceed to remove references in legislation to the National Environment Protection Council. Consideration should be given to amending the Act to more directly state the purpose of the Act, rather than having the object of the Act dependent on the establishment of the National Environment Protection Council. The objects of the Act should be amended to: - recognise the purpose of protection of the Australian community and the environment from harm - better reflect the Council of Australian Governments objectives of a seamless and harmonised national economy. BROADENING THE SCOPE OF THE TOOLKIT FOR NATIONAL ACTION (4.4) The current National Environment Protection Measures framework is not always the most appropriate tool to use in response to all current and future environmental challenges. For example: the scope of matters for which a National Environment Protection Measure may be made is limited the objects of the Acts and the definitions of standard, goal and protocol2 focus on ambient environmental quality. Addressing some future challenges may require a framework for nationally consistent decisions about other matters that contribute to protection of environmental quality (such as environmental performance standards for products and equipment), supported by either or both national and jurisdictional implementation flexibility in implementation creates additional risks when seeking to establish national requirements in relation to products for sale or occupations, due to the requirements of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 and supporting state and territory implementation legislation. 2 The Acts identify that a National Environment Protection Measure must contain one or more of the following: standard, goal, protocol and guideline.
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