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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25 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 At any one time a standing council will be tasked by the Council of Australian Governments with a small number of issues or reforms which it will pursue within its broad scope. These priority issues will be of national significance, warrant oversight by first ministers and be consistent with Council of Australian Governments strategic themes. The Council of Australian Governments has initially tasked the Standing Council on Environment and Water with pursuing reform in relation to the following priority issues of national significance: pursuing seamless environmental regulation and regulatory practice across jurisdictions progressing national water reform, including through implementing the National Water Initiative, the outcomes of the forthcoming Council of Australian Governments review of the National Water Initiative, and other Council of Australian Governments commitments on water implementing the National Waste Policy implementing a national partnership approach to the conservation and management of land, waters, the marine environment and biodiversity at the landscape and ecosystem scale, and to building resilience in a changing climate developing and implementing a National Plan for Clean Air to improve air quality and community health and wellbeing. In pursuing these priorities the Standing Council on Environment and Water wishes to support the Council of Australian Governments deregulation agenda by addressing and, if appropriate, removing unnecessary regulation. This includes streamlining processes to reduce costs for business (for example by harmonising environmental requirements and their implementation across jurisdictions) and reducing the cost of government operations. 2.3 NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COUNCIL AGENDA The National Environment Protection Council agenda supports the broader Council of Australian Governments agenda. The existing National Environment Protection Measures support the current National Waste Policy and the development of the National Plan for Clean Air. In particular the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure is likely to be a central statutory tool to support the outcomes of the National Plan for Clean Air. The National Environment Protection Council has not initiated a new National Environment Protection Measure since 2004; instead it has chosen different approaches, even where the matter being addressed is similar to or the same as a National Environment Protection Measuresuch as water quality guidelines. Since 2004, jurisdictions have agreed on several alternative approaches to national standard setting, including the Commonwealth Product Stewardship Act 2011 and Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005. The National Water Quality Guidelines are currently being updated with the intention that revised guidelines will be considered by the Standing Council on Environment and Water.