Whole-of-government strategy needed for chemicals and plastics

A national approach to chemicals and plastics regulation in Australia would reduce needless industry costs and improve compliance, according to a Productivity Commission (PC) report.

Commissioned by the Australian Government, the PC report examines the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory framework, and provides input to a special Ministerial Taskforce setup to develop a streamlined system of chemicals and plastics regulation.

Commissioner Mike Woods said there are “many inefficiencies” in the existing legislative framework. 

“Governments have regulated chemicals in different ways, even though the hazards and risks they pose vary little across the country, and this has resulted in unnecessary complexity under our federal system,” he said.

In the report, the PC proposes a four-tiered governance model for chemicals and plastics regulations that would allow all governments to participate in developing and implementing regulation.

The standards would be flexible enough to accommodate circumstances facing individual governments it says, while still achieving national uniformity in many instances.

For a copy of the report see http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/study/chemicalsandplastics/docs/finalreport


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