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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52 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 Environment Protection Measure may be affected by the introduction of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. The relevance of both National Environment Protection Measures in their current form will further diminish over time. It is better practice that regulations are kept up to date and only remain in force for as long as needed. The Commonwealth Legislative Instruments Act 2003 applies a standard sunset clause of 10 years to all Commonwealth regulation. However, National Environment Protection Measures are exempt from this requirement as they are made under an intergovernmental agreement. National Environment Protection Measures should include provisions for sunset clauses or formal review. 5.5 CONCLUSIONEFFICIENCY OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION MEASURES PROCESS The review has found that there are inefficiencies in the operation of the Act which can only be addressed through legislative change. The proposed changes and implications are discussed below. The established pathway for making a National Environment Protection Measure, the ability to prepare a single regulation impact statement to meet the needs of all jurisdictions, and the common pathways for implementation within many jurisdictions all serve to demonstrate the utility of National Environment Protection Measure processes. The Ramsay Review found that the National Environment Protection Councils legal authority, administrative structures and processes generally facilitated a streamlined nationally consistent approach. However, there are still significant costs and time associated with developing, agreeing and regulating at a national level. The review team notes that many of the National Environment Protection Measure reviews and subsequent variation processes have focused on technical methodologies. The need to undertake a formal variation process (even a minor variation process) introduces significant delays and has the potential to limit the value of and public confidence in the National Environment Protection Measure. For example, the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure could include the goal, the air quality standard and the requirement to report on emissions data, and have separate to the National Environment Protection Measure agreed details on the monitoring methods and reporting protocol. Changes to the detailed supporting documents would need to be negotiated, agreed and made available but with processes appropriate to the scale, level of stakeholder concern and impact of the likely changes.
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