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Additional costs of regulatory reform concern Australian chemistry industry - 27 May 2015

PACIA cautiously welcomes the Government’s finalisation of the review of the scheme for regulating industrial chemicals, NICNAS, ­but remains concerned that additional costs will be imposed on industry before any reductions in regulatory burden are achieved.

“Members welcome the Minister’s announcement of potential savings of $23 million each year but are concerned at potential regulatory cost increases,” PACIA CEO, Ms Samantha Read said.

“However, we note that most of these costs will be recovered once substantial savings have been achieved.”

“The burdens currently imposed by the NICNAS scheme operate as a significant disincentive for companies seeking to introduce new often safer and more environmentally friendly chemical technologies,” Ms Read said.

“Our members are hopeful that these reforms will reduce the cost of the regulatory scheme, precluding the need for additional costs to be recovered from industry” said Ms Read.

“Reform is urgently needed. The Australian chemistry industry is eager to work with the Government to deliver reforms that better balance the potential benefits and risks of new chemicals with lower regulatory burdens and maintaining protections for workplaces, consumers and environments” said Ms Read.

“These reforms will also need to implement the Government’s existing commitments to recognise international standards and risk assessments.

“Commitments to reduce burdens for low-risk chemicals to assist their faster introduction are welcomed by industry.

"All Australian Governments need to work together to deliver a coherent system for chemicals regulation in Australia. This includes ensuring that we have a system that encourages companies to invest in new chemistries and products to help drive improvements in Australian productivity,” Ms Read said.

“Australia relies on chemicals to ensure people have access to clean water, safe and nutritious food, and pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to fight disease and infection.

“Modern chemistry is also central to improvements in healthcare, resource efficiencies and agricultural production, and will help us to respond to emerging global challenges associated with climate change and population growth. 

“The Australian chemistry industry contributes to a more sustainable society by developing innovative technologies and products while ensuring the safe, responsible and sustainable management of chemicals throughout their life cycles.

"As the voice of the strategically significant Australian chemistry industry, PACIA looks forward to continuing to work with Government to deliver a truly modern, effective and efficient regulatory system for chemicals in Australia."

Media contact: Krista Imberger – kimberger@chemistryaustralia.org.au or 0439 318 290

About PACIA

PACIA is the national voice for the strategically significant, $45bn Australian chemistry industry, the second largest manufacturing sector in the country. The industry employs more than 64,000 people and adds more than $11.5bn to GDP in industry value-add. Ranging in size from small family-owned businesses to national and multi-national enterprises, PACIA members include chemicals manufacturers, importers and distributors, logistics and supply chain partners, raw materials suppliers, plastics fabricators and compounders, chemicals and plastics recyclers and service providers to the industry. Read more about us at: chemistryaustralia.org.au

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