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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55 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 Regular review is better practice. However, the National Environment Protection Council may wish to consider whether there are options to streamline and tailor the review process to the nature of the National Environment Protection Measure and its perceived performance. Individual National Environment Protection Measure reporting requirements (which are in addition to the general requirement to report on the implementation and effectiveness of National Environment Protection Measures) have worked well in a number of circumstances and less well in others. The reporting arrangements for each National Environment Protection Measure are discussed at Attachment E. Financial reporting on National Environment Protection Measure expenditure could be via annual reporting by the National Environment Protection Council secretariat based on a special account established for the purpose of, inter alia, establishing and managing National Environment Protection Measures (at section 7). Annual assessments by jurisdictions and the National Environment Protection Council of the effectiveness of National Environment Protection Measures have not led to a clear picture of which measures are working well. The assessments contain limited evidence to support claims and provide little data on outcomes or trends. This may be due to lack of time and resources to conduct this analysis, or the low level of change from year to year. The review found that it is difficult and of little value to conduct annual analysis of outcomes or trends around the complex environmental issues covered by National Environment Protection Measures. 6.4 CONCLUSIONREPORTING This review has considered what reporting is required and how it could be delivered in a more efficient and effective manner without compromising transparency or community expectations. The review has found that reporting, while a key function of the National Environment Protection Council Act, is unnecessarily complex and taking a disproportionate amount of the National Environment Protection Councils effort. Reporting annual data has been a useful feature of the National Environment Protection Council framework and should be retained where it is cost effective and useful to the target audience (whether government, business or the public). The review notes in particular the public support for the publication of annual air quality data and the emissions data presented in the National Pollutant Inventory. It is proposed that jurisdictions should continue to provide this data for use by the public, business, governments and the National Environment Protection Council itself. The value of the National Environment Protection Councils annual overall assessment of the implementation of National Environment Protection Measures is unclear. To date the National Environment Protection Councils assessment has involved summarising issues identified by individual jurisdictions. The Act does not allow the National Environment Protection Council a role in implementation of National Environment Protection Measures beyond producing these reports and, potentially, varying or revoking the measure to address any issues raised.