NT Submissions


SUBMISSION TO THE GREEN PAPER ON DEVELOPING NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

This submission to the Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia provides some background to the minerals industry in the Northern Territory (NT). It then addresses the specific themes of the Green Paper and finishes with the Northern Territory minerals industry high level policy priorities. The submission does not seek to assess all items in the scope of the Green Paper, but focuses on the important role that the mining industry will play in the Developing of the North and specifically the Northern Territory.

Issues Paper and Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on Improving Work Health and Safety Laws.

The Minerals Council of Australia No1thern Territo1y Division (MCA NT) represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry in the Northern Territory (NT). The MCA NT’s strategic objective is to advocate public policy and operational practice for a world-class industry that is safe, profitable, innovative, environmentally responsible and attuned to community needs and expectations.
In the NT members represent over 100 individual mining, exploration and related industry companies, which comprise around 20% of the Northern Territory’s gross state product and employ around 4,400
people. The MCA NT supports an approach to regulatory refonn that seeks to reduce the regulatory burden for industry while still making sure that health and safety are the priority. The WHS regime still contains costly and disproportional provisions; that are complex and duplicative; and overly prescriptive. The legislation and regulations are very complex and overly long-winded with small and medium enterprise’s struggling to interpret many aspects. There are also issues around extracting state or territory specific data from industry to industry from national reporting and measurement. This makes it very difficult to track industry or region specific issues of concern, or to trace anomalies in any data sets. MCA NT supports a risk management based approach The Model Work Health and Safety Regulation (Model Regulations), as it is currently drafted, requires duty holders to adopt a risk management approach managing work health and safety set out in Part 3.1. Under Part 3 .1 duty holders are required to identify hazards and manage risks in accordance with the hierarchy of controls. Part 3.1 also deals with the maintenance and review of control measures. Part 3.1 gives duty holders the ramework to identify hazards and manage risk in a manner that meets the standard required by the work health and safety laws and is appropriate to the duty holder’s operation. It does not prescribe the
specific risk controls that must be adopted. The MCA NT agrees this risk management approach 1sropriate and should be retained in the Model Regulations.
MCA NT upports the removal/reduction of provisions duplicating obligations under the Model Act
MCA NT considers that numerous provisions in the Model Regulations essentially duplicate the duties set
out in the Model Act, Part 2, Divisions 2.3 and 4. Specifically, the Primary Duty under the Model Act at
section 19 deals with the maintenance of a safe work environment, plant and structures, the provision of safe
systems of work, the provision of safe use, handling and storage of plant, structures and substances, the
provision of adequate welfare facilities, the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision to
workers, the provision of health monitoring to workers and the monitoring of working conditions.

Feedback on the Northern Territory – Draft Assessment Bilateral

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) welcomes the opportunity to provide comment on the Northern Territory – draft assessment bilateral agreement. As you are aware, the MCA represents over 85% of minerals production in Australia. The MCA’s strategic objective is to advocate public policy and operational practice for a world class industry that is safe, profitable, innovative, environmentally responsible and attuned to community needs and expectations. The MCA supports the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory Governments’ commitment to implementing a single accredited project assessment and approvals process. The MCA has long advocated that the Commonwealth should undertake a more strategic role in environmental assessment and approvals and allow for implementation by the State and Territory governments. The MCA also supports the overall approach taken in the draft assessment bilateral and in particular, the provisions around closer co-operation between both levels of government in the transition to
approval bilaterals.

Review of the Construction Industry Long Service Leave and Benefits Act (NT)

We welcome the opportunity to provide a submission in response to the review of the Construction Industry Long Service Leave and Benefits Act (NT). The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry, nationally and internationally, in its contribution to sustainable development and society. In the Northern Territory, members represent over 100 individual mining, exploration and related industry companies, which comprise around 20% of the Northern Territory’s gross state product and employ around 4,600 people.

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