The regulatory framework introduced under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, along with other initiatives progressively being implemented by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), should enhance the overall effectiveness of environment protection in NSW. The Audit Office is of the opinion that the framework is consistent with best practice and once fully implemented, should contribute to the achievement of further improvements in the environmental performance of industry.
However while the legislative framework supports best practice in regulation and enforcement, there are a number of issues which limit the effectiveness of the reforms. Some of the problems, such as the quality of licences and the effectiveness of compliance activities, have been identified by the EPA and may be addressed through recent initiatives.
Parliamentary reference - Report number #82 - released 18 April 2001