VICTORIAN COMPETITION AND EFFICENCY COMMISSION: INQUIRY INTO VICTORIA‟S REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

MCA believes that VCEC is in a unique position, having significant ability to influence whole of Government decisions. An all-encompassing review of environmental regulation is a once in a generation opportunity to set policies and strategies for the next few decades and likely result in legislative reform.

MCA stresses the importance that the recommendations arising from this Inquiry have the potential to improve the regulatory framework for Victoria.

The MCA is pleased that the Draft Report acknowledges that the regulatory framework is not currently delivered in a uniform manner with clear objectives, consistent implementation and transparent performance.

The Commonwealth Government and some Victoria Departments routinely review the “effectiveness” of legislation as well as administratively reviewing the implementation of legislation. Not only can the absence of a review process lead to unnecessary or inappropriate regulatory burdens, governments have limited ability to know whether resources are allocated in appropriate ways to deliver the outcomes regulated to achieve.

The MCA fully supports VCEC?s suggestions that Victoria?s regulatory framework can be significantly improved, by:

  • Removal of unnecessary costs to business; and
  • Improving environmental and other outcomes through more effective compliance, improved accountabilities, and greater use of incentive based regulation.

Consistent with the MCA submission to VCEC?s Review of Environmental Regulations, we endorse the changes to regulatory principles and institutional arrangements identified in the report “A Sustainable Future for Victoria: Getting Environmental Regulation Right, July 2009” prepared by VCEC, namely:

  • Better evidence (based on regular evaluation) of the performance of regulations against their objectives to deliver the actual intent of the regulation.
  • The adoption by relevant departments and agencies of performance reporting frameworks for regulation to encourage transparency in decision making and improve accountability.
  • Clear separation of the roles of policy maker and regulator to improve the clarity of roles and the administration of regulation.
  • Testing and adoption of innovative market-based instruments as an alternative to regulation......

In addition to these changes the MCA strongly recommends that the principles of Sustainable Development underpin all decisions of all regulations to ensure that consideration is given equally to the economic, environmental and social objectives of the Government.

The minerals industry has long considered the economic, environmental and social impacts of minerals development and the MCA recommends that the Government?s entire regulatory system must also give regard to these three factors, in the same way that the Government develops its policy according to the triple-bottom line.

Download complete article