A1 Community Engagement Forum
The Forum has seven members who are:" the Chair (Director NICNAS)" two community members representing the interests of the environment" two community members representing the interests of public health, and" two non-government members representing the interests of worker safety.
The Terms of Reference for the Forum ensure that it will provide advice on:" strategies to improve public access to chemical health and safety and environmental standards" community right to know issues, including the development of a community right to know charter" the development of NICNASs stakeholder engagement policies" all NICNAS reform programs (in which it will participate where practicable), and" other issues, as required.
Nominations for membership are sought from peak national bodies recognised by the Department of Health and Ageing as representing the interests of public health, environmental standards and worker health and safety.
Members are chosen for their expertise in:" knowledge of industrial chemicals in a regulatory context" ability to represent a broad cross section of community views" understanding of community concerns related to the regulation of chemicals, and" knowledge of Government processes involving industrial chemicals regulation.
While members have been nominated by specific organisations, they represent broad community interests in their respective area and not simply the interests of their nominating or originating organisations. The Parliamentary Secretary appoints members for a two-year term.
Priority work for the Forum includes improving public access to chemical safety information through implementation of a Community Engagement Charter; a communication strategy targeting the information needs of specific groups and assisting NICNAS with advice.
The CEF met six times in the reporting period, with three face-to-face meetings and threeteleconferences.
A2 Industry Government Consultative Committee
Terms of Reference and Membership
In 1997 amendments to the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 introduced new funding arrangements for NICNAS. Through them, the chemical industry directly contributes to the operating costs of NICNAS.
To ensure that industry has the opportunity to participate in the NICNAS budgetary process, an Industry Government Consultative Committee was established. It meets at least twice a year.
The Committee has eight members, including four industry representatives and four Government representatives. Membership consists of one representative from each of the following organisations:
Industry " ACCORD Australasia (which represents the consumer, cosmetic, hygiene and specialty products sector)" Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA)" Australian Paint Manufacturers Federation (APMF)" Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)
Government " NICNAS (Chair)" Australia Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations" Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts" Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
A representative of the Department of Health and Ageing is an ex-officio member.
The Committee:" reviews the utilisation of resources against NICNAS objectives" reviews the performance of NICNAS against agreed performance indicators (including those established in the NICNAS Service Charter and Business Plan), and in particular the impact on industry and the protection of human health and the environment" develops strategies for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of NICNAS operations within the context of (i) established goals and objectives and (ii) developing and emerging issues, and" develops compliance strategies and monitors the effectiveness of these strategies in promoting compliance with NICNAS.
The Chair of the Committee has reported as necessary (at least every six months) to the Minister on the outcomes of the Committee.
A3 NICNAS/States and Territories Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Group
The States and Territories MOU Group exists as a conduit for the free flow of information and needs between the States and Territories and NICNAS on occupational health and safety, environmental and health matters relating to the use of chemicals in Australia.
Each jurisdiction has a representative. That person liaises with contacts from various departments with a role in chemical safety, such as environmental, health, and workplace safety within their State or Territory.
This allows those regulating and controlling chemicals to raise issues of concern regarding chemicals with the Australian Government through their representative and for NICNAS and its partner agencies to pass information to those involved in implementation of chemical regulation.
The memorandum of understanding was signed in 1991 to formally record arrangements to facilitate the operation of the Act under which NICNAS was established, and States and Territories legislation relating to industrial chemicals.
Under the arrangement, each State and Territory is to consider and, wherever possible, implement each recommendation in an assessment report published by the Director, NICNAS and to inform the Director of any consequential action taken in respect of any recommendations.
The agreement also provides mechanisms to assist the operation of specific sections of the Act relating to new and existing chemicals.
A4 Technical Advisory Group - Managing the confidential Listing of Chemicals on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances
The chemicals industry may request that a listing of a chemical on the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances be kept confidential. In making a decision, NICNAS will weigh up the balance between commercial and public interests.
The NICNAS Technical Advisory Group assists in this decision-making.
It comprises:" Professor Graham A R Johnston, AM FRACI, FTSE (re-appointed October 2004) Professor of Pharmacology, University of Sydney" Professor Ian Rae, FRACI, FTSE (re-appointed October 2004) Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne" Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith (re-appointed October 2004) Coordinator, National Toxics Network Canberra" Mr James Smith CEng, FIChemE, BCom (Melb) (re-appointed October 2004).
The Technical Advisory Group will:" taking into account the prepared guidance material, advise the Director during considerationof commercial and public interest in applications for continued confidential listing in respectof the AICS" assist in reviewing the prepared guidance material for industry and the public outlining the information needed to accompany applications for continued confidentiality in respect of the AICS" recognise the confidential nature of the proceedings, adopt a special role in identifying and assess the public interest associated with reviewing applications for confidential listing on the AICS" as required, advise the Director on weighing of commercial interest and public interest" have no decision making powers under the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989, and" be bound by prohibition of disclosure of confidentiality clauses within the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989.
The TAG finalised 10 confidential chemical applications. In respect to an 11th chemical application, which resulted in an undecided recommendation from the Group, the Director made a decision in favor of maintaining the confidential listing for this application.