Earth Resources Sector - Statement of Expectation
16 January 2012
Mr Jeff Rosewarne
Department of Primary Industries
1 Spring Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
MINISTERIAL STATEMENT OF EXPECTATIONS FOR THE REGULATION OF THE EARTH RESOURCES SECTOR UNDER VICTORIAN LEGISLATION
I am pleased to provide you with my Statement of Expectations for the regulation of earth resources under Victorian legislation. This Statement applies to all persons employed by the Department with responsibility for earth resources, including those who carry out powers and functions under enabling legislation and related government policies, including the exercise of Ministerial powers and functions under an instrument of authorisation or delegation. This Statement applies from the date of receipt until the end of this Parliamentary term, or until otherwise amended.
As Minister for Energy and Resources, I have portfolio responsibility for the legislation that enables the administration and regulation of the minerals, extractive, petroleum, pipelines and geothermal industries in Victoria and off-shore waters. This Statement should be read within the context of the objectives, obligations and functions outlined in the relevant legislation.
This Statement is important to the discharge of my Ministerial portfolio responsibilities. It sets out my priorities for the regulation of earth resources under Victorian legislation, drawing on relevant principles from Victoria’s Improving Governance of Regulators: Principles and Guidelines.
Government policy and objectives
This Government supports a competitive, sustainable and productive earth resources sector, and effective regulation is vital to this outcome.
There are a number of significant projects that I expect you to ensure are delivered. These include supporting and implementing the legislative reform program so that, where legislative change occurs, it is implemented efficiently.
I expect you to ensure that the implementation of regulation is in accordance with good regulatory practice and that regulatory burden will be minimised in the context of an appropriate risk management framework. In line with this I expect that you will constantly seek out better and more efficient ways of regulating to facilitate growth of the earth resources sector. I expect regulatory responses to be fair, consistent and proportionate to the circumstances and that enforcement actions will be undertaken as appropriate.
I expect that licensing and approval activities will be underpinned by a robust system that is orderly, efficient and fair. You should continue to ensure that high quality outcomes are achieved in a manner that is timely and that provides certainty to regulated entities.
In the earth resources sector, minimising impacts on public safety, public amenity, the environment and infrastructure is paramount. I expect you will ensure that risks and emergencies are managed effectively, and ensure that processes and training are in place to support this activity.
There are a range of functions within my energy and resources portfolio, including industry development and facilitation, policy reform and regulation. I expect that the function of regulating the earth resources sector remains independent and, to that end, that an appropriate separation from other activities (such as industry development and facilitation) is maintained.
I expect that you will implement cost recovery for your regulatory activities and that cost recovery fees should be set by the Minister in accordance with the policy objectives and the Department of Treasury and Finance’s cost recovery guidelines.
Stakeholder relationships and engagement
You currently maintain active relationships with relevant government agencies in discharging your regulatory functions. I expect you to continue to work constructively with these agencies to enhance licensing and approval processes.
Victoria has played a leading role in influencing a national approach to earth resources regulation. I expect you to maintain a valued role in Commonwealth and State fora to promote good regulatory practice, reduce duplication and foster consistency of outcomes for the sector.
Community and industry stakeholders have diverse views regarding the development of the earth resources sector in Victoria. I understand that you will ensure the views of stakeholders are taken into account during the exercise of independent regulatory functions.
This Government values openness and transparency. I expect you to continue to engage with stakeholders in a manner that maintains confidence in the quality of decisions.
As the Minister for Energy and Resources, I recognise our mutual obligation to exchange information in a timely manner. To this end I undertake to keep you informed of matters pertinent to the discharge of regulatory responsibilities within the earth resources sector and to meet with you regularly.
Transparency and accountability
Measuring, tracking and publicly reporting performance is integral to accountability and transparency. I recognise that the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has established a strategic planning and reporting process that includes defined performance indicators for the Department and for the sectors for which it has portfolio responsibility. It is important that work continues to enhance indicators related to the functional performance, and the impact, of the regulator. Consistent with the performance framework that is being rolled out across the Victorian Public Sector, I expect that you will measure and report on outputs and outcomes.
I expect that this Statement will be incorporated into your ongoing planning processes and that reporting against this Statement will be published in the DPI’s annual report.
I look forward to receiving your response to this Statement of Expectations. I understand that your response will be published alongside a copy of this Statement on the DPI’s website.
HON. MICHAEL O’BRIEN MP
Minister for Energy and Resources