Mineral Resources (Sustainable development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations (2010)

By on November 27, 2018

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of CMPA.

Earth Resources Policy and Programs (ERPP) (DEDJTR) are in the process of remaking the Mineral Resources (Sustainable development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations (2010) (Extractive Industries Regulations) which sunset in 2020. As part of ERPP’s remake of the Minerals Regulations, they have been considering possible interactions with the Extractive Industries Regulations.

When ERPP originally mentioned their intention to remake the Extractive Industry Regulations in July 2019 it raised concerns with industry that they were moving out of step with the recommendations of the Getting the Groundwork Right report. ERPP had subsequent discussions with Anna Cronin (Commissioner for Better Regulation) who proposed the following:

That ERPP proceed to remake the regulations in 2019 – with a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) – but on the conditions that:

  • The regulations will be for five years only, in anticipation of significant legislative changes in the interim; and
  • With no net increases to industry fees prior to July 2020, to reflect the Commissioner’s recommendations that an efficient cost base is established, and improvements are made to Earth Resources Regulation prior to any fee increases.

This remake of the regulations would focus on ways in which ERPP could improve the efficiency of information required of industry through the current regulations. Examples include:

  • The information to be contained in work plans (regulation 5 and schedule 1);
  • Prescribed information to be contained in application for variation of a work plan (regulation 7);
  • Annual report (regulation 11 and schedule 2);
  • Information relating to injuries (regulation 12);
  • Information relating to reportable events (regulation 13);
  • Report relating to declared quarries (regulation 14); and
  • Certain information to be kept at the worksite (regulation 16).

In the first instance, ERPP are interested in selecting some quarry operators who would be willing to meet with them or their contractor to establish what costs industry currently incurs now in supplying this information. This information would then inform a subsequent discussion as to where ERPP might be able to reduce those costs (i.e. by requiring less information, requiring less frequently, requiring it of fewer parties, or requiring it in a more efficient way), and help with the decision of when to remake the Extractive Industries Regulations.

This work will measure the ‘red tape’ impact of the existing regulations on the Victorian earth resources sector as at 31st October 2018.

It will be a ‘point in time’ assessment to provide ERPP with evidence of the current regulatory burden.

Analysis of the data will inform the drafting of the RIS for the remake of Extractives Regulations, due to sunset in early 2020, and also provide a baseline for ERPP to measure the impacts of
any proposed broader legislative and regulatory reforms in future.

In scope of the costing will include information collected from industry; applications for authorities; content of work plans (including rehabilitation plans); reporting requirements; and advertising requirements.

Fees etc. are out of scope of the remake of the Regulations, and will not be considered, consistent with the Commissioner for Better Regulation’s report Getting the groundwork right which recommended these not be changed until after mid-2020 at the earliest.

Crucial to the accuracy of this measurement will be industry input on the time and compliance cost of complying with these regulations. Providing this information will contribute to the development of evidence-based regulatory changes and, hopefully, reduced regulatory burden for industry in future.

The Secretariat will approach Members who are willing to give input.

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