Page 915 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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across jurisdictions; two, progressing national water reform, including through implementing the national water initiative, the outcomes of the forthcoming COAG review of the national water initiative and other COAG commitments on water; three, implementing the national waste policy; four, implementing a national partnership approach to the conservation and management of land, waters, the marine environment and biodiversity at the landscape and ecosystem scale, and to building resilience in a changing climate; and, five, developing and implementing a national plan for clean air to improve air quality and community health and wellbeing.

All activities and projects undertaken by EPHC and NEPC were examined to ensure that the new council, once constituted, was able to focus on the agreed COAG priorities.

In relation to corporate governance, the NEPC Service Corporation was relocated from Adelaide to Canberra in June last year, being housed within the Australian government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Concurrently, work continued on many important national environmental issues. During 2010-11, in addition to the transition, primary activities of the council were focused on waste management, NEPM variation issues and air quality.

To address the council’s agreement on national waste policy priorities, the framework legislation for product stewardship for televisions and computers and arrangements for end-of-life tyres was well advanced and a streamlined Australian packaging covenant was agreed. A consultation regulation impact statement was also initiated to address resource efficiencies, environmental impacts and reduction of litter and packaging waste, including beverage containers. This work will support the achievement of the outcomes outlined in the ACT waste management strategy.

Through 2010-11 considerable work went into the NEPM review and variations in relation to the movement of controlled waste NEPM, the air toxics NEPM, the ambient air quality NEPM and the assessment of site contamination NEPM. This work will improve the implementation and effectiveness of these NEPMs in the ACT.

The council also endorsed the development of a new national plan for clean air aimed at improving air quality. Ministers also approved the development of a package of national emission reduction actions for wood heaters, small engines and garden equipment, non-road diesel engines and surface coatings, including paints and solvents. The ACT is supportive of this national work, in particular the work on wood heaters, as this will assist in addressing the ACT’s winter particle pollution problem.

The ACT met all of its reporting requirements for the National Environment Protection Council annual report for 2010-11. I commend the council’s annual report to the Assembly.


Dr Bourke presented the following paper:

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