29 September 2016

Oilcode

Remaking of sunsetting instrument without amendments – Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is scheduled to remake the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes – Oilcode) Regulation 2016 without significant amendments.

The review recommended that:

  1. Terminal gate pricing arrangements be retained in their current form;
  2. The code be retained so as to offer continued contractual protection to all parties; and
  3. The dispute resolution scheme be continued to offer services to industry participants under the Oilcode.

In line with the Australian Government best practice regulation requirements for sunsetting legislative instruments, the Department has assessed the operation of the Regulation in consultation with affected stakeholders and has certified that the instrument is operating efficiently and effectively.

Therefore the Office of Best Practice Regulation notes that a Regulation Impact Statement is not required for this regulation to be remade. As the instrument is being remade without amendments there are no compliance cost changes.


19 September 2016

Statutory Definition of a Charity

Post–implementation Review – The Treasury

On 23 August 2012 a bill was introduced into Parliament that provided a statutory definition of a charity. The definition came into effect in January 2014. The definition of a charity has most relevance in tax law, where charities have access to special tax arrangements. Previously, there was only a common law definition of a charity, which could add to the legal costs and time taken in being approved as a charity.

Prior to the introduction of the bill an exemption from the Australian Government’s best practice regulation requirements was granted by the then Prime Minister. Accordingly, under best practice regulation requirements the Treasury was required to complete a post‑implementation review (PIR). The PIR was completed in April 2016 and was assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.


16 September 2016

Review of the model WHS Regulations for diving work

COAG Consultation Regulation Impact Statement – Safe Work Australia

On 22 August 2016, Safe Work Australia (SWA) released a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on the model Work Health and Safety Regulations for diving work.

The RIS estimates that between 9,000 and 10,000 workers in Australia perform diving work annually. Divers are at risk of a number of injuries and illnesses as diving work is undertaken in a non-respirable environment, often at increased pressure. Safe Work Australia prepared the Consultation RIS to consult on proposed changes to the diving work provisions in the model Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.

The COAG RIS for consultation prepared by SWA has been assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

SWA are seeking further information and feedback from stakeholders through the call for submissions. Submissions are now open and will close on 30 September 2016.


16 September 2016

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Environment and Energy

On 5 May 2016, the Australian Government decided to introduce a quota on the importation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from January 2018.

HFCs are the dominant gas used in refrigerators and air conditioners. The use of HFCs replaced hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) which have largely been phased out due to HCFCs being an ozone depleting gas. While HFCs are not an ozone depleting gas they have a high global warming potential and were responsible for 1.8 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2012-13.

The use of HFCs is already falling and the quota system will set an upper limit on the amount of HFCs that can be imported. A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared exploring several options to reduce the use of HFCs. The RIS recommended the introduction of a quota on imports, without allocating the quota to existing importers based on historical market share due to concerns it may restrict competition. The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) assessed the RIS as compliant and best practice with the Government’s best practice regulation requirements.

The RIS estimates the increase in average annual regulatory burden from introducing the quota is $4.2 million. The OBPR has agreed with this estimate.


7 September 2016

Superfast Broadband Declaration

Independent Review – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

On 29 July 2016, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced its decision to regulate access to wholesale superfast broadband access services.

This will mean that non-NBN networks supplying broadband services with data rates normally more than 25 Mbps will have the price and non-price conditions for access by retailers determined by the ACCC.

The ACCC made this decision based on concerns that the networks exhibited natural monopoly characteristics.

The ACCC’s decision was informed by the Superfast Broadband Access Service Declaration Inquiry, which the ACCC certified as meeting the requirements of a regulation impact statement. The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) does not assess reviews that have been certified as meeting the requirements of a regulation impact statement.

The agency estimates the average annual regulatory cost at $1.2 million. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost.


19 August 2016

Clearer labels for medicines

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Health

On 9 August 2016, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), part of the Department of Health, announced new requirements for the presentation of information on medicine labels. The new requirements aim to make Australian medicine labels clearer and more consistent and consequently help to avoid medication errors.

The new medicine labelling standards, among other things, require greater prominence and consistent location of information on active ingredients, and specify new allergens to be declared on medicine labels. A four year transition period is provided to allow industry to adopt the label changes with minimal compliance costs.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared and certified by the TGA under the Australian Government best practice regulation requirements, and has been assessed as compliant and consistent with best practice by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR).

The RIS estimates the average annual regulatory cost to be $1.1 million a year, and identifies offsets. The OBPR has agreed to the regulatory cost and offset estimates.


4 August 2016

Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Health

On 5 May 2016 the Government introduced the Dental Benefits Amendment Bill 2016 which proposes changes to create a national Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme. It replaces the means-tested Child Dental Benefits Scheme; a rebate scheme which covers children aged two to 17.

The new scheme will provide financial assistance for dental services to children as well as for adults on concession cards, to be provided through the states and territories.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) assessed the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for the proposal prepared by the Department Health as compliant with the Government’s RIS requirements but not best practice. To achieve best practice a considerably higher level of analysis was required to be presented in the RIS.

The RIS estimates the average annual regulatory saving to be $8.9 million per annum, reflecting the reduction in regulatory costs due to the abolition of the Child Dental Benefits Scheme. The OBPR has agreed to the estimates.


25 July 2016

Deregulation of the student visa programme and future directions for streamlined visa processing

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Immigration and Border Protection

On 16 June 2015, the Australian Government announced the introduction of the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) to support Australia’s education services sector.

The changes under the SSVF include:

  • a reduction in the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two; and
  • the introduction of a simplified single immigration risk framework for all international students.

The regulation came into effect on 1 July 2016 and the changes are designed to make the student visa framework simpler to navigate, reduce red tape for business, deliver a more targeted approach to immigration integrity and create a level playing field for all education providers.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) assessed the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) prepared by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as compliant with the RIS requirements and consistent with best practice.

The Department estimates that the new framework is likely to reduce regulatory costs by $24.1 million per annum compared to previous arrangements. This estimate has been agreed by the OBPR.


25 July 2016

Lupin as a Food Allergen

COAG Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) – Food Standards Australia New Zealand

On 16 June 2016, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) released a consultation RIS for a proposal to regulate food containing lupin as a food allergen.

Lupin is an emerging food allergen of public health significance in Australia. Lupin belongs to the group of plants known as legumes and therefore contains proteins which are similar to those found in other legumes such as peanut and soy. Like proteins in peanut and soy proteins present in lupin can also be an allergen for some members of the community.

The RIS provides a preliminary examination of the options available for managing potential health and safety outcomes of allergic reactions of lupin in the Australia and New Zealand population.

A Council of Australian Government (COAG) RIS for consultation has been prepared by FSANZ, and assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

FSANZ is seeking further information and feedback from industry, consumers and other stakeholders through the call for submissions. Consultations are now open and will close on 28 July 2016.


25 July 2016

Review of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

COAG Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) – Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

On 7 July 2016 the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) released a consultation RIS for a review of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

The NSQHS Standards were designed to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health care for consumers. They are applicable to all health service organisations, and have been used to assess all hospitals and day procedure services since January 2013.

The Commission is undertaking a review of the NSQHS Standards to ensure that they remain current and consistent with best practice.

A Council of Australian Government (COAG) RIS for consultation has been prepared by the Commission, and assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

The Commission is seeking further information and feedback from industry, consumers and other stakeholders through consultation. Consultations are now open and will close on 5 August 2016.