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Program Contact
Bradley Nolan
Regional Sustainability Program Manager

Phone: (02) 4978 4020
Email: hccrems@huntercouncils.com.au

Compliance

Regional Environmental Compliance Projects

HCCREMS has been working with member councils since 2008 on numerous environmental compliance initiatives - all designed to assist councils improve standards, systems and practices relating to their own compliance with environmental legislation, as well as their regulation of environmental compliance in the broader community.

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These initiatives have aimed to:
  • build the commitment, capacity, skills and resources of councils across the region to effectively and consistently prioritise and enforce environmental legislation and standards
  • provide councils with a suite of best practice tools and supporting resources to effectively implement environmental regulation and enforcement activities
  • deliver coordinated regional community education and enforcement campaigns targeting regional environmental compliance priorities
  • facilitate the establishment of partnerships and resource sharing between councils and other organisations, to support the ongoing implementation of collaborative enforcement and compliance campaigns targeting priority regional issues
  • improve the nature and consistency of data collection across the region to allow the identification of regional trends and priorities for environmental compliance activities.
A number of key products and resources have been developed to date (located in our resource library) that include:


Project Description

eREF
Management System

(electronic Review of Environmental Factors)


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Comprises a Microsoft Access database which assist councils to:
  • Identify and collate information required to complete a Review of Environmental Factors assessment
  • Produce a consolidated report to assist in determining if further environmental assessment is required
Specific details on the eREF and information on how to access the eREF can be found on the eREF page.

Compliance Assurance Policy and Guidelines

Includes a model Compliance Assurance Policy and associated guidelines to support implementation of the Policy.  The Model Policy provides support to councils to conduct both proactive and reactive compliance activities and clearly indicates that proactive strategies may assist with reducing the incidents of non compliance and environmental harm. Guidelines are provided to assist with:
  • Compliance Inspections and Monitoring
  • Developing Quality Conditions of Consent
  • Promoting Voluntary Compliance
  • Managing Reports of Non-Compliance
  • Investigations
  • Evidence Gathering
  • Recorded Interviewing
  • Use of Surveillance Cameras
  • Enforcement Options
Further details are included in the Resource Library.

 

Funding Environmental Compliance

This report looks at the alternative options available to councils in New South Wales to raise funds for environmental compliance and protection programs. These options, each discussed in its own chapter, include:
  • Fees for compliance services
  • Levies, including environmental levies
  • Fines from criminal prosecutions for regulatory breaches
  • Administrative orders for environmental protection
  • Security (bonds) for issues such as impacts on council property (e.g. trees) or other environmental impacts (e.g. salinity and drainage)
  • Voluntary Planning Agreements
  • Contributions to public infrastructure or services
  • Biodiversity certification of planning instruments
  • Public Positive Covenants Grants
To access this resource please visit our Resource Library.
 

Community Awareness Campaigns


Campaign materials were developed to assist Councils to engage with their communities over illegal earthworks and illegal filling.

Documentation is available from our Resource Library.

Practical Compliance Systems Review

The periodic review of Local Government systems for managing compliance activities, both internal and of the regulated community is acknowledged as not only good business practice, but essential for councils to adequately manage and mitigate their risk of both environmental harm and legal liability.

HCCREMS, with the assistance of the City of Newcastle and AECOM developed a Practical System Review (self assessment) which assists councils to review the performance of their compliance management systems and identify if there are any modifications to systems or practices that may enhance current systems.  The Practical System Review provides the following benefits to Councils:
  • An opportunity for discussion and reflection on organisational processes
  • A standard methodology for identifying strengths and weaknesses in current compliance systems and practices
  • A structured methodology for tracking (and potentially reporting on) progress over time
  • An ability to prioritise corrective actions and improvements to systems to ensure they deliver the desired compliance outcomes
  • Building staff knowledge and skills in relation to best practice.
A copy of the tool is located in our Resource Library.