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Smart regulation: grappling with risk


Regulatory area: Better regulation Jurisdiction: Victoria

The Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission has released a guidance document and supporting paper for policy advisers and regulators on how to prioritise regulatory effort through risk-based approaches. It follows the latest version of the Victorian Guide to Regulation, which states that all Regulatory Impact Statements should include risk-based approaches in their identification and discussion of policy options.

The guidance note and supporting paper are based on the Commission's improvement studies with regulators, and aim to provide advice to support regulators in translating the principles of risk into regulatory practice.

The guidance note is intended to act as a 'how to' handbook for tackling risk in regulatory settings, and included the following areas:

  • Developing policy: for policy officers in departments and regulators
  • Applying regulation: for regulators administering and enforcing regulation
  • Administering regulatory processes
  • Undertaking compliance and enforcement
  • Analytical techniques
  • The supporting paper discusses the principles and rationale for including risk in regulation, and examines some of the practical challenges that regulators and policy officers may face while doing so. Part 1 of the paper explains risk-based regulation, while part 2 and 3 examine the processes and challenges of implementing risk-based regulation at each stage of the regulatory cycle. Process improvement in regulators Source: State of Victoria

    Pollution Response Training (in-kind)


    Date: Tuesday 15 - Thursday 17 September 2015 (inclusive). Venue: SA EPA Training Room, SA Water Building, Victoria Square, Adelaide. Cost: Free. Flight and accommodation costs must be met by attendees. Contact: Kevin Rowley, Team leader & ERT Coordinator, SA EPA. Registration essential.

    SA EPA, in conjunction with the WA Department of Environment Regulation (DER), is hosting an in-kind training session around Pollution Response for AELERT members. The need for the training was identified by AELERT's Emergency Operations Network and is aimed at the practitioner level.

    The objective of the course is to provide attendees with the relevant information to enable them to safely respond to and manage pollution incidents.

    It will contain modules on identifying hazardous materials, safely approaching incidents, basic toxicology, incident command arrangements, use of field monitoring and sampling tools, personal protective equipment, decontamination, containment and clean up of pollution, and interactions with other agencies.

    The training will also include modules from SA EPA's recently accredited Authorised Officer Training around note-taking, elements of an offence, communications and tactics. SA EPA radiation ERT staff will demonstrate some of the testing equipment that they use and how they calculate the potential harm from a suspected source.

    This full and valuable 3-day training is open to each jurisdiction to nominate staff to attend.

    EXTRA: EVIDENCE PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE On Friday 18th September, SA EPA is running a one-day Evidence photography course in Adelaide. It will be run by a professionally trained photographer who works in Government Investigations and has delivered numerous training sessions within Government. Places are limited. Contact Kevin Rowley to secure your place.

    Reforming Waste Management- creating certainty for an industry to grow


    Regulatory Area: Pollution control Jurisdiction: South Australia

    Several months ago, staff at EPA SA reached out to AELERT Members to find out about jurisdictional examples of compliance assessments (conducted by licensees). Since then, SA EPA has developed a proposed approach for introducing ‘certificates of compliance’ (compliance assessments) so that licensees can monitor their compliance with the conditions of licence under the Environment Protection Act.

    An overview of the proposed approach for certificates of compliance was included in SA EPA’s Waste Reform Discussion Paper (p62-66). Consultation is currently underway for this discussion paper and SA EPA is receiving submissions. They would be grateful for your feedback in regards to certificates of compliance and/or other reforms proposed in the discussion paper. Join in the online discussion at the ‘YourSAy’ website and visit the EPA website to see how to make a formal submission. The consultation period closes at 5.00pm, Friday 2 October 2015.

    NT Jurisdictional Event - wrap up


    On 11 August, the AELERT Secretariat travelled to Darwin to co-host a jurisdictional networking event in conjunction with the Northern Territory EPA. It was great to meet some of AELERT's Northern Territory members and to spend time with the Territory's Jurisdictional Representative, Peter Vasel.

    Attendees heard from existing AELERT members who shared their experiences with the network and how it assists them in their roles. Abbe Damrow, from NT EPA, detailed her participation in AELERT as a member of the Emergency Operations Network, and how she and her staff use the online forum to connect with members from other jurisdictions.

    Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife officers, Sally Heaton and Tess Cooper, spoke about the value of AELERT in linking officers working in remote areas to the outside world.2015 08 Tess Cooper  NT   SQ Tess was also the recipient of the AELERT Professional Development Training Diploma Scholarship. In a stroke of luck Amiette Wakenshaw, Manager of the program, was also visiting Darwin and presented the award in person. Amiette acknowledged Tess’ hard work and congratulated Tess on her excellent skills. Well done Tess!

    The Secretariat was also fortunate enough to see first-hand some of the unique landscapes and animals that our Northern Territory members work with. Thank-you NT for sharing your lovely city and warm weather with us.

    2015_08_NT event (10) 2015_08_NT event (11) 2015_08_NT event (12)
    2015_08_NT event (8) 2015_08_NT event (9) 2015_08_NT event Abbe Damrow
    2015_08_NT event Amiette presents award to Tess 2015_08_NT event Audience Sunset NT


    Advanced environmental offsets- draft policy statement


    Regulatory Area: Biodiversity Jurisdiction: Commonwealth

    The Department of the Environment (DoE) has released a draft policy statement providing guidance on the use of advanced offsets under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

    Environmental offsets traditionally compensate for any adverse environmental impacts that result from an activity that has already been approved. Advanced environmental offsets, on the other hand, are implemented prior to an impact occurring and can be used to offset future activities.

    The policy statement describes the potential benefits of advanced offsets, including:

  • Improved conservation outcomes, resulting from more strategic delivery, increased planning time and early implementation
  • A reduction in the time taken until the offset's ecological benefit is realised, potentially resulting in financial savings for the proponent
  • Streamlined project implementation through a reduction in delays caused by locating and procuring an approved offset
  • Higher third party participation, such as opportunities for land holders or traditional owners to manage advanced offsets and attract a higher price for their product.
  • The statement provides a number of examples that demonstrate situations where advanced offsets can provide better outcomes. It also outlines the criteria that will determine when advanced offsets can be considered.

    The draft is open for public comment until 12 October 2015.

    More information:

  • Download the complete draft policy statement
  • Read the 'how to use the offsets assessment guide'