Incompatible regulations across different levels of government are the driving force behind an Australian federal government-ordered study into the nation's plastics industry.
Following several years of discussions between industry and the government over the complexity and inconsistency of regulations, the Productivity Commission will initiate a review.
Siobhan McKenna has been appointed an associate commissioner to oversee the study. She has a long history of advising companies on development of effective regulatory strategies and has specific experience in the chemical and plastics industry.
She is required to provide a final report within a year.
Michael Catchpole, chief executive officer of the Melbourne-based Plastics & Chemicals Industries Association, said 144 separate pieces of federal, state and territory legislation were identified for management of plastics and chemicals to protect the environment and enhance public and workplace health and safety back in 1998.
``The situation, in terms of regulatory complexity and inconsistency, has worsened since then,'' he said.
A May 2003 report of the National Taskforce on Chemical Regulation & Management highlighted the complex maze of chemical and plastics regulations. ``Since then, industry and government have given new emphasis to management of chemicals of security concern,'' Catchpole said.
The industry first sought a review in a submission to the federal government in August 2004, and again in early 2006 to the Taskforce on Reducing Regulatory Burden on Business.
In the submission, PACIA highlighted the cost of overlapping rules.
Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said he hopes state governments will participate actively in the study.