NTC reviews dangerous goods regulations

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has called for comment on proposed changes to the regulatory framework for transporting dangerous goods by road and rail. While these procedures are governed by well established laws and regulatory arrangements, the NTC believes further improvements are needed.

NTC chief executive Nick Dimopoulos said the review has made a number of
recommendations to further strengthen the regulatory framework that is already in place.

“We believe these proposed changes have the capacity to make the system safer, more
efficient and provide greater transparency,” Dimopoulos said.

Key review recommendations to improve the current system include:
• Aligning amendments to the Australian Dangerous Goods Code with the two-yearly international cycle of updates to the United Nation’s recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods – model regulations. This will ensure Australia keeps pace with international best practice;
• Ensuring states and territories implement the same definition of the Australian
Dangerous Goods Code in their laws. This will eliminate the inconsistencies in state and territory laws that occur when updates are made to the Code and implementation
does not occur on a common date;
• Introducing a timeframe for regulators to make decisions about applications, to ensure businesses receive a timely outcome.

The NTC’s complete review can be seen on the NTC website (www.ntc.gov.au).

Submissions on the Review can be made until August 31 this year through the NTC website or by post to the chief executive, National Transport Commission, Level 15/628 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000.

“We encourage all those with an interest in the regulation of dangerous goods to share their views on the proposed improvements,” Nick Dimopoulos said.

A final recommendation will be submitted to the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) by the end of 2012.