As Queensland’s environmental regulator, our vision is to be a strong and customer focused regulator that is efficient, modern, responsive, transparent and collaborative in its efforts to protect environmental values while supporting Queensland’s economy. The Regulatory Strategy 2022–2027 outlines key target areas and actions to be delivered over five years and is based on the principle of continuous improvement.
The Regulatory Strategy 2022–2027 builds upon the previous Regulatory Strategy released in 2014. The 2014 Regulatory Strategy was positive in moving our regulatory approach to a more outcome and risk-based approach. Key elements of the 2014 Regulatory Strategy will continue to be delivered with some refinements to better ensure that our regulatory approach is focussed toward risk.
The Regulatory Strategy 2022–2027 is structured around six key focus areas:
- Regulate proportionate to risk
- Assessment processes
- Targeted compliance
- Customer focus
- Partnership, science and innovation
- Communication and engagement.
Each of the six focus areas include principles, actions and targets. The principles outline how we will approach our regulatory activities while the actions are time specific deliverables. By undertaking our regulatory activities in accordance with the principles and delivering the actions within the timeframes, we aim to achieve the targets set for each focus area by 2027.
Implementation of the Regulatory Strategy 2022–2027 will help deliver more streamlined, efficient and cost-effective regulation that is proportionate to risk and will support Queensland’s economy while ensuring Queensland’s unique environment and heritage places are well-managed and protected now and into the future.
Our regulatory approach is assisted by our business model, which includes a business centre for each major industry sector, each dedicated to assessing and deciding permit applications; and compliance centres distributed across the state, delivering compliance activities and priorities identified through a compliance planning framework.
Regulate proportionate to risk
Fundamental to our vision as a regulator is strong risk-based regulation. This applies to our assessment and compliance activities. In simple terms, risk is determined through review and analysis and an assessment of the likelihood and consequence of the hazard occurring.
Our regulatory approach to potential issues will be proportionate to the risk that the issue presents. Where the risks of an activity are lower, the activity may require less prescriptive regulation and may attract less compliance activity. Conversely for a higher-risk activity, where the consequences of a breach of regulatory obligations may have significant negative consequences, more prescriptive regulation and stronger compliance activity may be required.
Our assessment processes rely on applicants providing sufficient and relevant information to enable officers to undertake an assessment of the potential risks posed by the activity.
To assist applicants to understand the conditions that may be imposed on an environmental authority, numerous model condition sets and a set of common conditions for prescribed environmentally relevant activities (ERAs) have been published. Eligibility criteria and standard conditions (ERA standards) have also been developed for some lower risk activities which are suitable for the standard application process.
- Applying for an environmental authority
- Common conditions —prescribed environmentally relevant activities
- Model conditions – prescribed environmentally relevant activities
- Streamlined model conditions for petroleum activities—ESR/2016/1989 (formerly EM1274)
- Model mining conditions
- ERA Standards
- Environmental codes of practice for industry
- Environmental impact statement processes
Our compliance work is critical to enforcing the standards set by law that allow for sustainable development in Queensland and safeguards Queensland's environmental values by minimising or preventing environmental harm.
Our compliance program will target its efforts at activities based on risk and intelligence. We already use a range of data, tools and intelligence to take a risk-based approach to compliance, which will be built upon over time.
- Compliance planning and priorities
- Developing a good performance history ESR/2016/2234—(formerly EM1325)
- Prosecution bulletins
- Compliance guidelines
Our customer base is diverse and includes applicants, existing operators, community reporters, interested members of the public and the broader Queensland community. Improving customer experience has the potential to deliver better regulatory outcomes.
We are committed to empowering our customers to provide accurate and relevant information to support sound decision making.
Partnership, science and innovation
Best available science and accurate, reliable and timely data are foundations of environmental management. We use scientific advice, research, data and analysis to make our environmental management decisions.
Partnerships allow for sharing knowledge and innovation across sectors and can help to ensure effective use of resources.
Communication and engagement
Our stakeholders and partners include operators, the community, landholders, environmental groups, First Nations people and other government agencies.
We encourage all Queenslanders to take part in our consultation processes to ensure that decisions about our policies, programs and services represent a wide range of views and needs.