The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) today released an Issues Paper seeking comments on ways to reform regulation of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry.
“Regulation of the CSG industry has grown as rapidly as the industry itself. It is timely to test whether regulations can be streamlined to cut red tape costs, without affecting environmental and other standards,” said acting QCA Chairman Dr David Watson.
“In this context, the QCA has been asked to identify options for improving the performance of regulatory agencies and regulations, in particular by considering a reduction of duplication, the potential for combining regulatory effort and alternative approaches for achieving similar outcomes.
“The CSG industry is subject to seven main acts administered by six departments. The industry is also regulated under legislation that applies to the mining, manufacturing and other sectors. The potential for costly duplication
“Good regulation protects the public interest at the lowest possible cost. Regulation focused on results and
supported by effective enforcement is more likely to work than prescriptive rules requiring thousands of pages
of compliance reports.
“The QCA invites all stakeholders to provide their thoughts on how a best practice regulatory system could work. The Issues Paper raises questions about the present system and possible alternatives.
“It is important to note that the QCA will not be reopening fundamental policy issues already settled.
“The direction from government is clear, for example, that environmental standards are to be maintained.
Equally, policies governing land access are being addressed by other government reviews.
“Successful regulatory reform should reduce costs, enhance community confidence in the CSG industry and
encourage further investment in Queensland,” said Dr Watson.
Submissions close 22 August 2013, with a draft report due to be released in October.
To find out more about this project and how to have your say visit our website www.qca.org.au