Australian Health and Wellbeing on Agenda at NICNAS Roundtable

Protection of Australians and the environment was on the agenda when Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash met representatives of the Australian chemical industry at Parliament House.

Page last updated: 16 September 2015

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16 September 2015

Protection of Australians and the environment was on the agenda when Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash met representatives of the Australian chemical industry at Parliament House today.

The Minister attended a roundtable discussion on reforms to the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) and launched the Implementation Plan for these reforms at Parliament House today.

“The reforms reduce red tape and streamline bureaucratic processes, resulting in around $23 million in savings annually,” Minister Nash said.

“The reforms place priority on community health and environmental protection plans.”

The Minister said the reforms are a significant step forward in the chemical safety space, helping Australia’s industry become more internationally competitive.

“A streamlined risk assessment process will see a reduction in assessments of industrial chemicals that are considered low risk, saving the industry time and resources,” Minister Nash said.

“By using existing international research to conduct pre-market assessments, suppliers' costs will be reduced and delays will be shortened.

"This implementation plan describes how these improvements will be achieved, and sets out the opportunities for stakeholders to provide input to how the reforms will be implemented. It provides a timeline for changes to legislation and IT systems as well as outlining the development process for application forms, standard operating procedures and guidance documents."

Some of the proposed reforms are anticipated to take effect from September 2016 with full implementation by September 2018.

In line with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) principles for best practice consultation, the plan sets out a timetable for the release of a number of public discussion papers and public workshops to gather input from the industry and the community on the reform details.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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