Terms of reference: review of the POEO Act

In accordance with section 327 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) and the Terms of Reference below, the Minister for the Environment seeks comment on the provisions of the POEO Act in providing a clear, comprehensive and strong regulatory regime for protecting the environment in NSW.

Section 327 of the POEO Act states that

  • The Minister is to review this Act to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives.
  • The review is to be undertaken as soon as possible after the period of five years from the date of assent to this Act.
  • A report on the outcome of the review is to be tabled in each House of Parliament within 12 months after the end of the period of five years.

In undertaking these statutory requirements, the Minister shall consider the appropriateness or otherwise of the provisions dealing with

  • the licensing regime and Schedule 1 of the Act
  • appropriate regulatory authorities (ARAs)
  • community consultation and access to information
  • compliance and enforcement
  • economic incentives
  • Protection of the Environment Policies
  • other policy issues

The Minister shall also consider whether

  • the Act focuses on the highest environmental priorities and provides practical  and effective mechanisms for addressing them?
  • the powers available to local government and other ARAs are adequate?
  • the Act creates barriers to alternative regulatory approaches?
  • the Act promotes a range of approaches from education/cleaner production through to enforcement?
  • compliance and administrative costs of the legislation are reasonable and justified  compared to benefits achieved?
  • the regulatory framework is flexible enough to accommodate changing circumstances?
  • opportunities exist to adopt best practice from other jurisdictions?

Information on the POEO Act can be accessed in Act Summaries or by phoning the EPA's Pollution Line on 131 555.

An issues paper (PDF 61KB) was available for public comment from June to August 2003. The report on the review (PDF 700KB) has now been tabled in Parliament.

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