Submissions to the 2012 Review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme–The Australian Industry Group

The Discussion Paper: Review of the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)–June 2012 was released on 1 June 2012. Submissions were received betweeen 1 June and 27 July 2012. The comments received from this consultation process will be used to inform the government of stakeholder views.

Page last updated: 17 September 2012

PDF printable version of Australian Industry Group submission (PDF 673 KB)

20 Queens Road
Melbourne VIC 3004
PO Box 7622
Melbourne VIC 8004

ABN 76 369 958 788

Tel: 03 9867 0111
Fax: 03 9867 0199

Submission in Response to:

Discussion Paper

Review of the National Industrial Chemicals
Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)
June 2012

This submission is made on behalf of The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group)

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is a peak industry association in Australia which along with its affiliates represents the interests of more than 60,000 businesses in an expanding range of sectors including: manufacturing; engineering; construction; automotive; food; transport; information technology; telecommunications; call centres; labour hire; printing; defence; mining equipment and supplies; airlines; and other industries. The businesses which we represent employ more than 1 million employees.

It is an organisation committed to helping Australian industry with a focus on building competitive and sustainable industries through global integration, skills development, productive and flexible workplace relations, infrastructure development and innovation.

The organisation provides practical information, advice and assistance to help members run their businesses more effectively. It ensures through policy leadership that members have a voice at all levels of government, by representing and promoting their interests on current and emerging issues.

Ai Group members operate small, medium and large businesses across a range of industries.

We are represented in ongoing tripartite consultative forums with state governments and occupational health and safety regulators in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Ai Group is a member of Safe Work Australia.

Ai Group is pleased to have the opportunity to have input into the review of NICNAS. During the public comment period, Ai Group has been liaising with representatives of PACIA (Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association). It is not our intention to address thedetailed technical issues raised in the discussion paper; it is more appropriate for these issues to be addressed by PACIA who have a particular specialty in this area.

Our submission is made in support of the key areas of concern/interest raised by PACIA.

It is essential that the framework for introducing new chemistry, innovation and technologies into Australia delivers processes which ensure healthy and safe outcomes for the Australian community, whilst reducing the complexity and red tape that is often associated with such activities.

The productivity and competitiveness of Australia's economy hinges on the achievement of an efficient and low cost regulatory environment that promotes investment, entrepreneurship and dynamic flexibility so that businesses can take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Key areas that can assist in delivering a more efficient and effective approach can be summarised as follows:
  • Reducing duplication and costs, and supporting innovation and new chemistry, by accepting the outcomes of assessments from recognised overseas regulators (e.g. EU, USA and Canada).
  • Addressing the issues associated with the efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory system for chemicals of low regulatory concern. This will result in a better balance of risk-resource allocation.
  • Implementing recommendation 4.3 of the 2008 Productivity Commission Report that focuses on establishing a clear role for NICNAS within Australia's chemicals management framework.
  • Establishing an appropriate relationship between the Department of Health and Ageing (as the policy department) and NICNAS.

Ai Group contact:
Tracey Browne
National Safety and Worker's Compensation Policy and Membership Services

20 Queens Road
Melbourne VIC 3004

A full list of all 2012 submissions can be viewed at June 2012 submissions to the review of NICNAS.