27 March, 2013

Greentape & lighthanded regulation

Greentape and “Lighthanded” regulation

The Greentape Reduction legislation introduced by the former Qld Government, prior to the last election is now coming into force on 31 March 2013.

The Qld Government is highlighting two important initiatives from this legislation:
·       the deletion of 20 environmentally relevant activity (ERA) thresholds from the Environmental Protection Regulation and
·       the implementation of a new Regulatory Strategy.

EHP's new Regulatory Strategy is a fundamental shift in the way environmental and regulatory activities will be undertaken, an increase its compliance activities and its enforcement actions will become stronger and more consistent.

One of the department’s first “light handed” actions was to relax processes to provide local governments with flexibility to manage their environmental relevant activities during natural disasters.

The release of the EHP Environment Recovery Plan sets out three key stages in the environmental recovery timeline:
·       Immediate or short term recovery—which aims to meet the immediate needs of affected communities. This includes restoring critical water supply and sewage treatment services.
·       Medium term recovery—which aims to address less urgent, high priority environmental issues and includes activities to manage waste and debris.
·       Long term recovery—which aims to restore the environment to near pre-disaster levels and includes such things as permanent repairs to water/sewerage infrastructure, and restoration of natural areas.

EHP has been working with local governments and industry as it addresses the requirements under the immediate and medium term recovery activities and has established a Local Government Recovery Coordinator to assist local councils with their immediate recovery and reconstruction work.

Gladstone Harbour

Gladstone Harbour is a test case for the Qld State Government’s approach to Environmental regulation in Qld.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has expressed his desire to annex Gladstone Harbour from the Great Barrier Reef marine Park.

The Qld Government has appointed Dr Ian Poiner as the chair of the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Science Panel for the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership.

Dr Ian Poiner who will be joined by a further seven scientists specialising in hydrodynamic, biogeochemistry, marine biodiversity, water quality, marine toxicology, ecosystem health and decision support and modelling.

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