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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42 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 The review found that there is a reform opportunity to enhance the toolkit available to support national action for environment protection. In particular, the opportunities include: broadening the application of the existing National Environment Protection Measures framework amending other legislation or developing new legislation to support action on current Standing Council on Environment and Water priorities (as outlined above). Note that in considering legislative proposals to address current Standing Council on Environment and Water priorities a framework approach should be considered to maximise the future use and application of the tools. This would complement other frameworks for national action on environmental matters such as the Commonwealth Product Stewardship Act. Without such reforms the future use of National Environment Protection Measures is likely to be limited to the existing scope and application. 4.5 IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION MEASURES Once made by the National Environment Protection Council, each National Environment Protection Measure is tabled in, and subject to disallowance by, the Commonwealth Parliament. The National Environment Protection Council Acts provide that it is the parliaments intention that National Environment Protection Measures will be implemented by such laws and other arrangements as are necessary. However, the Acts do not themselves provide the basis for regulatory action to implement National Environment Protection Measures. How each jurisdiction chooses to implement a National Environment Protection Measure varies between jurisdictions. A common approach is to adopt a National Environment Protection Measure by reference in specific legislation. For example, section 17A of the Victorian Environment Protection Act 1970 provides that, by Order, any National Environment Protection Measure in force at a particular time or in force from time to time, with or without modification, may be incorporated in a state environmental protection policy. A less common approach is to adopt all National Environment Protection Measures by reference. For example, section 12A of the Tasmanian State Policies and Projects Act 1993 provides that a National Environment Protection Measure is taken to be a state policy and is taken to have been approved by both houses of parliament. For the Commonwealth, the National Environment Protection Measures (Implementation) Act 1998 provides a basis to apply National Environment Protection Measures to its activities and to apply state and territory laws as necessary. This variable approach to implementation is both a strength and a weakness of the National Environment Protection Measures framework. The framework allows for jurisdictions to apply the measures consistently with regional differences, with solutions tailored to the relevant jurisdictional circumstances. The ability of a National
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