Compliance and Enforcement
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) holds a primary responsibility for administering legislation governing energy and earth resources. Our enforcement policy is based on principles to deliver the fair, safe and equitable application of the law in the day-to-day dealings of enforcement officers with the general public and others.
Our Compliance and Enforcement Policy sets out how we ensure compliance with the Acts for which our department is responsible:
- extension activities, including communication of information, promotion and capacity building
- monitoring and auditing of practices and processes
- enforcement activities designed to compel compliance.
The department has developed Guiding Principles to steer its compliance and enforcement approach.
Activities targeted to prevent serious risk
The department conducts regular audits and targeted audits, with a focus on sites that are determined to be higher risk. The findings of these audits are intended to allow Duty Holders to address potential issues before they can escalate into serious problems.
A proportional response to the problem
DEDJTR will look to address problems through consultative measures where appropriate. Where enforcement action is taken, the severity of the action will be commensurate with the problem or the alleged regulatory breach.
Consistent advice and outcomes
The department will provide consistent advice on legislation and compliance, and undertake its compliance and enforcement role impartially to ensure consistent outcomes.
A transparent and consultative approach
DEDJTR carries out its regulatory role with a focus on transparent reporting, establishing clear processes and exemplifying independence.
Timely and effective enforcement
The department will investigate or respond to complaints relating to potential regulatory breaches wherever appropriate. A graded enforcement approach will determine the appropriate response to an identified issue. For example, where there is potential for immediate harm to public safety, infrastructure, or the environment, DEDJTR will use the enforcement tools available to it to take immediate action and prevent the risk of further harm.
Authoritative advice and clear standards
The department promotes compliance through awareness and information campaigns and education and change management programs. DEDJTR sets clear standards so that Duty Holders are made aware of the importance of compliance with regulatory obligations and the possible consequences for non-compliance.
Inclusive engagement with industry
DEDJTR will engage with industry and the wider community as part of its role to responsibly manage and secure access to earth resources for current and future use.
Accountable conduct and decision making
The department will act in accordance with these Guiding Principles in carrying out its compliance and enforcement role. DEDJTR’s compliance and enforcement decisions will be made with reference to the relevant laws, this Policy, the DEDJTR Compliance and Enforcement Procedure, and any Ministerial Guidelines in place.
Jurisdiction and Responsibility
DEDJTR’s responsibilities include the administration and enforcement of the provisions contained in the following Acts of Parliament:
- Geothermal Energy Resources Act 2005 (Vic)
- Greenhouse Gas Geological Sequestration Act 2008 (Vic)
- Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (Vic)
- Petroleum Act 1998 (Vic)
- Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2010 (Vic)
- Pipelines Act 2005 (Vic)
Memorandums of Understanding exist to outline practical jurisdictional responsibilities between the Minister and a number of State and Commonwealth Departments. In order to effectively implement these working relationships the Minister and other government agencies cooperate to promote compliance and enforcement. This cooperation may include the designation of enforcement officials of those agencies as authorised persons within DEDJTR and vice versa.
Memorandums of Understanding are also used by DEDJTR with other State agencies (for example, DEDJTR Earth Resources Regulation and the Victorian WorkCover Authority) to enable a cooperative approach to risk identification and management.
Enforcement issues on the borders between Victoria and the States of New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania will be addressed through cooperative approaches between the States.