Revised electrical equipment Regulations proposed
Energy Safe VIC has released a discussion paper and proposed Electricity Safety (Equipment Safety Scheme) Regulations 2018 to replace the Electricity Safety (Equipment) Regulations 2009 and enable the implementation of the upcoming Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme changes. The main changes to the Regulations relate to categorising consumer electrical equipment, certificates verifying that equipment complies with relevant standards and regulating second-hand equipment.
New Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations released
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2018 will commence on 10 December 2018, replacing the 2008 Regulations. The new Regulations include updated product requirements and certificate calculation equations for majority of the activities under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. It also introduces six new gas efficiency activities and removes four activities from the program.
QLD Waste levy to begin. Draft amendments released
The QLD Government has introduced the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Waste Levy) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 into Parliament. The levy is expected to begin on 4 March 2019 at a rate of $70 per tonne for general waste. It has also released a draft amendment Regulation for public comment that provides further details of the proposed levy framework. Comments close 15 October 2018. More here and here.
New Heavy Vehicle National Law - to be drafted
The National Transport Commission has announced that it expects to draft a new Heavy Vehicle National Law after it completes the review of the current law. It is anticipated that the result will be a law that is fit for purpose and performance-based rather than prescriptive. The review will include establishing a review panel to develop new policy settings and legislation and setting up working groups for key priority areas, with consultation and review planned to begin in November 2018 and legislation to be drafted from late 2019 to 2020. More here and here.
Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018 passed
The VIC Government has passed the Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018, which will focus the state’s environment protection laws on preventative rather than responsive action to pollution. The Bill introduces a new criminally enforceable ‘general environmental duty’, significantly increases maximum penalties, and boosts the EPA’s powers through the introduction of various measures. The changes will commence on 1 July 2020. View the Amendment Act here. More information available here and here.
ACT - Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2018
The ACT Government has announced that improvements to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 will come into effect from 1 January 2019, in response to research into the construction industry’s safety culture. The changes will include mandatory measures for major construction projects, including consultation with workers and unions when establishing work groups, the election and training of health and safety representatives, and the election of health and safety committees and training for its members. More here and here.
Draft Macquarie Valley FloodPlain Management Plan - Released
The Department of Industry is seeking feedback on the Macquarie Valley draft floodplain management plan. The plan will clarify where landholders can construct flood works, streamline the flood works approvals process, manage the passage of floodwaters through the floodplain to minimise risk to life and property, and maintain flood connectivity to flood-dependent assets. Comments close 13 September 2018. More.
New Version of the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail Commenced.
The National Transport Commission has announced that the approved version 7.6 of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail has now commenced and will be compulsory from 1 July 2019. The changes will bring the Code in line with new United Nations transport requirements and will simplify transport of lower-risk limited quantities of dangerous goods. More.
Vic Construction and Building Sector Set for Review
The VIC Government has launched a Small Business Regulation Review into the state’s construction and building sector to reduce red tape and improve the experience small businesses have with regulators. Energy Safe Victoria, the EPA, the Victorian Building Authority and WorkSafe VIC will partner with the Government to deliver practical and targeted reforms. More here and here.
ACT Zero Net Greenhouse Gas Target Set
The ACT Government has announced that a target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 has been set for the ACT. The announcement comes after a discussion paper was released for public comment. Interim targets have also been determined, including 40% below 1990 levels by 2020; 50-60% below 1990 levels by 2025; 65-75% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 90-95% below 1990 levels by 2040. Legislation to formalise the targets will be introduced in the coming months. More
Driving laws for automated vehicles - Review Underway
The National Transport Commission is reviewing how existing driving laws should be amended to allow for automated vehicles, and has released a short video Would you travel in an automated vehicle? to help stimulate discussion and to highlight some of the most important legal and regulatory questions. A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement has also been released to gather feedback on the four safety assurance options identified. Comments close 9 July 2018. More here and here.
Heavy Vehicle Safety the focus of "Tell a Mate" Campaign
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has launched the Tell a Mate safety campaign to highlight that heavy vehicle safety is in everyone’s best interest. The campaign encourages those in the heavy vehicle industry to share safety tips and discuss issues. More.
New Waste Management Policy to Focus on Combustible Recyclables.
The VIC Government has proposed to introduce the Waste Management Policy (Combustible Recyclable and Waste Material) to enable continued regulation of waste and resource recovery facilities to minimise the risk of fire, and to replace the Interim Waste Management Policy (Resource Recovery Facilities). Public feedback is sought on the effectiveness of the Policy and current guidelines. Comments close 1 August 2018. More.
Queensland inspectors to focus on crystalline silica risks in building materials
Workplace Health and Safety QLD is conducting workplace audits targeting risks associated with respirable silica contained in building materials. Inspectors will be ensuring workplaces provide suitable engineering controls and PPE, and that work is conducted in compliance with a safe work method statement. Find more information here.
New Industrial Chemicals scheme on hold
The Australian Government has announced that the commencement of the new Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) will be delayed until 1 July 2019. The deferral has been initiated to allow industry to adequately prepare for the changes and for additional consultation.
The current regulatory scheme (NICNAS) will remain in place until AICIS commences. An exposure draft of the rules and guidelines is ready. Consultation is extended until May 31st 2018. More.
Proposed Changes To Queensland Mining Laws
The QLD Government has introduced the Mines Legislation (Resources Safety) Amendment Bill 2018 into Parliament, aiming to improve safety and health for all mine workers. Proposed changes include increased maximum penalties for safety breaches and civil penalties for serious breaches, improved integration of contractor safety and health management, health surveillance of current and former mining workers and increased powers to suspend or cancel certificates of competency. More
NSW Reform Of Water Laws Underway
The NSW Government has released the draft Water Management Amendment Bill 2018 and a number of consultation papers for public feedback. Proposed changes aim to improve the management of environmental water, water take measurement and metering, transparency measures and floodplain harvesting policies. The reforms have been released as part of the Water Reform Action Plan in response to the independent investigation into NSW water management and compliance, and the Murray-Darling Basin Water Compliance Review. Comments close 15 April 2018. More
NCC 2019 draft available for public comment
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has released the draft National Construction Code (NCC 2019) for public comment. Key elements of the proposed amendments include improved fire safety measures, increased levels of energy efficiency for commercial buildings and new quantified performance metrics and verification methods. Consultation Regulation Impact Statements will be available for comment from 2 March 2018, relating to accessible adult change facilities, fire safety in mid-rise apartment and hotels, and energy efficiency for commercial buildings. Comments close 13 April 2018 and 20 April 2018. More.
Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Bill 2018
The Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Bill 2018 has been introduced into Parliament as an important step towards implementing Queensland’s Mined Land Rehabilitation Policy. The Bill aims to establish a financial provisioning scheme to deal with the environmental impacts of resource activities (replacing the existing provisions in the Environmental Protection Act 1994), and introduce new progressive rehabilitation and closure plan requirements for mining lease environmental authorities for a site-specific application. More here and here.
VIC Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme Legislation
The VIC Government has released the Electricity Safety Amendment (Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme) Bill 2018, which will introduce a national database for suppliers and equipment regarded as medium or high risk. A new regulatory compliance mark will also be introduced to allow regulators to trace product faults back to suppliers. The changes aim to address increasing numbers of recalls and deteriorating standards of imported goods. More.
Review of regional forest agreements underway
The NSW and Australian governments have now closed public submissions on the implementation of the NSW Regional Forest Agreements between 2004 and 2014. The review will be used to assess the progress of the agreements against established milestones. Click here to find out the latest news.
WA Critical Risks Safety Focus Areas for 2018
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has announced it will be focusing on critical risks in the mining and petroleum industry during 2018. Inspectors will continue to work with industry and will reinforce the importance of key areas such as leadership and accountability, complying with approved safety documentation and ongoing asset management. More.
Review of policy statement for waste levy underway
The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has commenced a review of the MWAC Policy Statement on the Waste Levy and Strategic Waste Funding and are inviting comments on the proposed changes outlined in the discussion paper. Issues open for discussion include the rationale for the waste levy, application of the levy to waste generated in non-metropolitan areas, basis for setting levy rates and regulation of the levy. Comments close 3 April 2018. More.
Combustible Cladding Draft Regulation Released
The NSW Government has released draft legislation to improve the fire safety of buildings for public comment. The proposed reforms limit the use of combustible cladding and require building owners to register with the government if their building has combustible external wall cladding. The new laws are in response to the high-rise fire disaster at London’s Grenfell Tower earlier this year. Comments close 16 February 2018. More
Draft biosecurity amendment bill released
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has released the draft Biosecurity Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2017, which proposes changes to help manage biosecurity risks through better information-gathering powers, improved ability to amend biosecurity import conditions and minor technical changes. The amendments would also remove the need for importers to have an import permit for certain goods. Comments close 30 January 2018. More
Changes to OHS regulations for people who work with lead
The Minister for Finance Robin Scott will introduce changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 to ensure people who work with lead are protected, and Victoria’s safety standards for lead work reflect national best practice. Changes include, among other things, lowering thresholds for work defined as lead-risk and reducing the permitted amount of airborne lead dust particles in a workplace. More