The CEF was established in 2004 as part of NICNASs LRCC reform initiative, the taskforce having recognised the advantages of maintaining dialogue with the public through a formal community-based consultative forum mechanism.

The CEF assists the NICNAS office address aspects of the communitys right to know in relation to the control and use of industrial chemicals, especially in the areas of worker health and safety, public health and the environment - members represent these sectors.

CEF members, 6 December 2006

Standing (L to R): Ms Pamela Grassick and Ms Renata Musolino (worker health and safety interests), Ms Jane Bremmer (environmental interests), Dr Roshini Jayewardene (Acting Director, NICNAS)

Seated (L to R): Mr John Sawkins (NICNAS Secretariat), Dr Liz Hanna (public health interests), Dr Bro Sheffield- Brotherton (environmental interests), Professor Chris Winder (public health interests)

Priority work for the CEF included improving public access to chemical safety information by encouraging adherence to the community engagement charter and by assisting in developing appropriate channels and strategies for communication, targeting the information needs of specific groups and assisting NICNAS with advice and improving online services.

The CEF met on four occasions in 2006-07, three times in face-to-face meetings and once by teleconference. An additional teleconference was conducted prior to the end of the year. The third meeting was timed to include a joint session with members of the NICNAS IGCC.

Implementation of recommendations emerging from the EC Program Review has been a major focus of work this year. In June 2007, the CEF published the first edition of Community Engagement Bulletin, its e-newsletter, on the Community page of the NICNAS website.

CEF membership, terms of reference and meeting details for 2006-07 are at Appendix 15.