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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68 National Environment Protection Council NEPC Acts Third Review 2012 NATURE AND FORM OF NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION MEASURES (5.1) A contemporary model for National Environment Protection Measures should be developed that focuses on outcomes and allows for flexibility to enable rapid updates as new information becomes available. Any new model should ensure National Environment Protection Measures contain a clear outcome statement with goals, key performance indicators, standards and/or high-level protocols. Technical monitoring and reporting processes should be included in separate subordinate instruments that can be readily amended or updated when required, while still providing certainty for business. Formal regulation impact statements or Office of Best Practice Regulation mechanisms may not be required where there is no significant business impact. THIRD TERM OF REFERENCE: THE STATUS AND EFFECTIVENESS OF NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION MEASURES AS A FRAMEWORK FOR ACHIEVING NATIONALLY CONSISTENT GUIDANCE AND STANDARDS, INCLUDING POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES BASED ON BEST PRACTICE MODELS National Environment Protection Measures are one of the tools available to governments to establish nationally consistent environment standards, requirements, guidelines and protocols. They provide for nationally consistent decisions implemented through jurisdictional arrangements, providing flexibility and enabling integration with existing regulatory systems. However, there are constraints on the scope of National Environment Protection Measures, and limits on their use and effectiveness. The benefits of the National Environment Protection Measures framework depend on effective implementation by each of the participating jurisdictions. In particular, consistency of implementation is important in reducing business costs. If the broad objects of the Act are to be met, then the experience of business (and other regulated entities) is as critical as the rules, standards and laws themselves. National Environment Protection Measures should be considered as part of a broader framework or toolbox for national action. Jurisdictions jointly need to consider the range of tools required over the next ten years to support national action in pursuit of the objects of the National Environment Protection Council Act. The existing National Environment Protection Measures framework, while valuable for many applications, is not likely to be the preferred tool where variations in implementation will limit its effectiveness. This is particularly the case for products, equipment or occupations that are subject to the Mutual Recognition Act.