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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33 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 3.6 BEST PRACTICE MODELS FOR ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION A range of models have been used in Australia and overseas for nationally (and internationally) consistent guidance, standards and requirements. Each model reflects its specific context and setting, the desired policy outcomes and the nature of the requirements, standards or guidance that was subsequently required. For example, when considering international models for consistent guidance, requirements and standards, consideration needs to be given to the specific historical, political, cultural and constitutional context in each case. In the case of Europe, the European Union has powers to issue directives setting outcomes to be achieved by member jurisdictions, and member jurisdictions are given flexibility to achieve those outcomes in the most appropriate manner. However, the directives are accompanied by a compliance regime that ultimately can impose significant penalties on member states for failure to adequately implement the directives. (Refer to Attachment G.) Similarly the United States federal government has powers to establish minimum requirements for implementation by United States and, where necessary, to require compliance. By comparison the powers of the Australian Government are more constrained and this is reflected in models available for implementation in Australia. MODELS FOR CONSISTENT APPROACHES TO ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION Within Australia a wide range of models have been used to establish consistent national standards, requirements and guidance. The preferred model in any case is a reflection of factors including: the policy outcomes being sought and the nature of the intervention required to achieve them whether the powers to intervene most appropriately lie with the Commonwealth or with states and territories (or both for different elements of the problem) the extent to which flexibility or uniformity in implementation is required costs and benefits associated with the intervention, noting that uniform multi jurisdictional legislative approaches can be relatively costly the requirement for legal standing, certainty, longevity and stakeholder confidence. The table at Attachment H sets out a number of options or models for developing consistent national standards, guidelines and requirements, examples of the application of each of these, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. The key models, possible uses and advantages/disadvantages are as follows.