Legislation & regulations

Reportable events and reportable incidents

This page provides information for:

  • holders of mineral licences (including exploration) and extractive industries work authorities issued under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 about their obligations in relation to reportable events
  • holders of petroleum authorities issued in accordance with the Petroleum Act 1998 about their obligations under the Petroleum Regulations 2021 in relation to reportable incidents.

All reportable events and reportable incidents must be reported to Earth Resources Regulation in the first instance as soon as practicable via the dedicated 24/7 mobile number below. Reporting is always recommended even when unsure whether to report.

Notification contacts

Earth Resources Regulation Duty Officer: 0419 597 010 (24 hours)

Written notifications: ERRChiefInspector@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Reportable events under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990

The Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 refers to a ‘reportable event’ as an undesirable event arising from exploration, mining or extractive industries activities or work done under a minerals licence or under an extractive industries work authority.

Events mineral industries must report

Regulation 51(2) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations 2019 prescribes the following events arising out of exploration or mining under a licence as reportable events:

  1. an explosion or outbreak of fire
  2. slope failure, unexpected slope movement, progressive slope collapse or failure of slope stability control measures
  3. an injury to a member of the public caused by the carrying out of mining or associated operations
  4. an uncontrolled outburst of gas
  5. an unexpected or abnormal inrush of groundwater, other water or other fluid
  6. blasting that results in an ejection of flyrock outside the work plan area of the approved work plan for the licence
  7. an escape, spillage or leakage of a harmful or potentially harmful:
    1. substance or
    2. slurry or
    3. tailings
  8. a breach of a licence condition, or non-compliance with the approved work plan for the licence or the work plan conditions, that results or is likely to result in a risk to:
    1. the environment or
    2. any member of the public or
    3. property, land, or infrastructure in the vicinity of the work under the licence
  9. an abnormal event
  10. an event that results or may result, in significant impacts on public safety, the environment or infrastructure.

Events extractive industries must report

Regulation 20(2) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations 2019 defines a reportable event as meaning:

  1. an explosion or outbreak of fire
  2. slope failure, unexpected slope movement, progressive slope collapse or failure of slope stability control measures
  3. an injury to a member of the public caused by the carrying out of the extractive industry or associated operations
  4. an uncontrolled outburst of gas
  5. an unexpected or abnormal inrush of groundwater, other water or other fluid
  6. blasting that results in an ejection of flyrock outside the work plan area of the approved work plan for the extractive industry work authority
  7. an escape, spillage or leakage of a harmful or potentially harmful
    1. substance or
    2. slurry or
    3. tailings
  8. a breach of a condition of the extractive industry work authority, or non-compliance with the approved work plan for the extractive industry work authority or the work plan conditions, that results or is likely to result in a risk to:
    1. the environment or
    2. any member of the public or
    3. property, land, or infrastructure in the vicinity of the work under the extractive industry work authority
  9. an abnormal event
  10. an event that results, or may result, in significant impacts on public safety, the environment or infrastructure.

Reporting an event

Earth Resources Regulation has developed notes to provide clear guidance about the requirements to report any reportable event in an appropriate, timely manner.

+ Expand all- Collapse all

This guidance note provides authority holders with clear guidance about their obligations in relation to exploration, mining or quarries under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 (the Act) and to notify of reportable events in an appropriate, timely manner.

The overall objectives are to:

  • encourage good quality reporting by providing clear guidance on what reportable events are, how and when they should be reported and what the potential consequences are for not reporting these types of events
  • assure land holders, other community members and government that authority holders will be held accountable to fulfil their obligations to protect people, land, infrastructure and the environment throughout the life cycle of their resource projects
  • provide guidance about how failure to comply with reporting obligations will be addressed in line with legislative and good regulatory practice.

Detailed, accurate and timely reporting of reportable events:

  • enables key risks to be promptly identified and effectively addressed
  • provides accurate, current data that supports forward planning related to managing and responding to risk
  • gives the community assurance that the controls in place to manage risk are appropriate and effective.

A reportable event under the Act refers to an undesirable event arising from exploration, mining or extractive industries activities or work done under a minerals licence or an extractive industries work authority.

For a detailed description, refer to reportable events under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990.

In accordance with Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulation 51(1) (under S41AC of the Act) and Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractives Industries) Regulation 20(1) (under S77KA of the Act), all events must be reported to the Chief Inspector as soon as practicable after the reportable event occurs. This can be done via the dedicated duty officer mobile number 0419 597 010. The number is monitored 24/7.

The report must be made either orally or in writing and must include the following information:

  • the date, time and place of the event
  • a description of the event
  • the steps taken to minimise the impact of the event.

If requested, a written report of the reportable event must be given and must include the following:

  • the date, time and place of the event
  • the details of the event, including the impact, or likely impact of the event on public safety, the environment or infrastructure
  • any known or suspected causes of the event
  • details of the actions taken to minimise the impact of the event
  • details of action taken or proposed to be taken to prevent a recurrence of the event.

The written report must be given as soon as practicable after the request is made.

Regardless of whether reports of the event have been made to other regulatory agencies (e.g. EPA or WorkSafe Victoria), a report must be made to Earth Resources Regulation in accordance with the Act and the regulations.

Emailed reports can be sent to ERRChiefInspector@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Reportable events must be reported as this is a requirement under regulation 51(1), 51(3), and 51(4) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations 2019, and under regulation 20(1), 20(3) and 20(4) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractives Industries) Regulations 2019.

Benefits from reporting reportable events include:

  • providing information to Earth Resources Regulation as to the nature and cause of an event, the risk posed and the response underway or proposed response; this in turn enables Earth Resources Regulation to provide informed comment to Emergency Services or other areas of government if required
  • the information received is used to analyse trends within the industry, identify emerging issues and direct activity with co-regulators such as WorkSafe Victoria, Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Country Fire Authority (CFA), Fire Rescue Victoria and local government authorities
  • reporting assists with investigation and root cause analysis to guide continuous improvement and helps promote a culture of safety and compliance
  • reporting in accordance with regulatory obligations ensures transparency in operations, enhances community confidence in the industry and in the individual authority holder.

Earth Resources Regulation also encourages the reporting of events related to public safety, environment, land and infrastructure with minor or no consequence that occur within the worksite, as this is often a useful way to anticipate and prevent more serious incidents from occurring.

Decision diagram to demonstrate if the event is reportable, report the event to Earth Resources Regulation Officer within 3 days in writing or call 000 if an emergency. If the incident is considered not to be a reportable event, report into internal systems, and if unsure, ask the Earth Resources Regulation Officer or Regional Manager

Earth Resources Regulation maintains a 24-hour response and notification capability.

The first point of contact for any out of hours response is the Earth Resources Regulation Duty Officer (DO). The DO is responsible for the initial management of incidents and informing the Chief Inspector of incidents of significance. The DO can be contacted at any time by calling 0419 597 010.

Where it is unclear as to whether an incident is reportable, the DO should be contacted for advice.

In relation to exploration and mining, it is an offence under Regulation 51(3) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Mineral Industries) Regulations to fail to give notice of an event.

In relation to the extractive industries, it is an offence under Regulation 20(3) of the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) (Extractive Industries) Regulations to fail to give notice of an event.

Failure to report a reportable event in the prescribed time or in the prescribed manner can result in enforcement action including infringements and/or prosecution of the offence.

Failure to report can be categorised as a failure to:

  • report reportable events at all or
  • report in the prescribed manner or
  • provide a written report as requested.

Section 95R of the Act makes it an offence to fail to comply with any lawful requirement of an inspector or making a statement knowing it to be false or misleading. Such an offence may result in enforcement action being taken.

Downloads

Reportable incidents – Petroleum Act 1998

Regulation 45(1) of the Petroleum Regulations 2021 defines a reportable incident as:

"…an incident arising directly out of a petroleum operation that is reasonably likely to cause significant harm or damage to individuals, the environment, the integrity of the petroleum operation or the immediate area (whether above or below ground)."

Section 45 of the regulations specifies how reportable incidents are to be reported verbally and in writing. These requirements are outlined below in the section Responsibilities.

Reporting an incident

Earth Resources Regulation has developed the following guidance notes to provide clear guidance about the requirements to report any reportable incident in an appropriate, timely manner.

+ Expand all- Collapse all

This guidance note provides authority holders with clear guidance about their obligations, under regulation 45(1) of the Petroleum Regulations 2021 (the regulations), to report any reportable incident in an appropriate, timely manner.

The overall objectives are to:

  • encourage good quality reporting by providing clear guidance on what reportable incidents are, how and when they should be reported and what the potential consequences are for not reporting these types of incidents
  • assure land holders, other community members and government that authority holders will be held accountable to fulfil their obligations to protect people, land, infrastructure, petroleum reservoirs and the environment throughout the life cycle of their resource projects
  • provide guidance about how failure to comply with reporting obligations will be addressed in line with legislative and good regulatory practice.

Detailed, accurate and timely reporting of reportable incidents:

  • enables key risks to be promptly identified and effectively addressed
  • provides accurate, current data that supports forward planning related to managing and responding to risk
  • gives the community assurance that the controls in place to manage risk are appropriate and effective.

Regulation 45(1) of the Petroleum Regulations 2021 defines a reportable incident as:

‘…an incident arising directly out of a petroleum operation that is reasonably likely to cause significant harm or damage to individuals, the environment, the integrity of the petroleum operation or the immediate area (whether above or below ground).’

If unclear about whether an event is a reportable incident, contact Earth Resources Regulation for advice. Reporting is always recommended if in doubt.

In accordance with Regulation 45 of the regulations, all petroleum reportable incidents must be reported to Earth Resources Regulation, which can be done via the dedicated incident mobile number 0419 597 010. This number is monitored 24/7.

The authority holder must give notice of a reportable incident within two hours of when the reportable incident occurs or if the authority holder is not initially aware of the reportable incident, from when the authority holder becomes aware that it occurred.

The notice must be given orally and:

  • include the material facts and circumstances of the reportable incident that the holder of the authority knows or is able, by reasonable search or enquiry, to find out
  • describe any action taken by the holder of the authority to avoid or mitigate any impacts to individuals, public safety, public amenity or the environment of the reportable incident and
  • describe any immediate corrective action taken, or proposed to be taken, by the holder of the authority to stop, control or remedy the reportable incident.

Within three days after the holder of an authority has given notice to Earth Resources Regulation of a reportable incident, the authority holder must submit a written report that includes:

  • all details required to be included in the report outlined above.

Within 30 days after the holder of an authority has given notice of a reportable incident, the authority-holder must provide a written report that includes:

  • the date, time and place of the reportable incident and
  • a description of the reportable incident and
  • any known or suspected causes of the reportable incident and
  • a root cause analysis of the reportable incident and
  • a description of the steps taken by the holder to minimise the impacts of the reportable incident and
  • a description of the steps taken or proposed to be taken by the holder to prevent a recurrence of the reportable incident.

Regardless of whether reports of the event have been made to other regulatory agencies (e.g. EPA or WorkSafe Victoria), a report must be made to Earth Resources Regulation in accordance with the Petroleum Act 1998 (the Act) and the regulations.

Reports should be emailed to ERRChiefInspector@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Reportable incidents must be reported as this is a requirement under regulation 45(2), 45(3), 45(4) and 45(5) of the Petroleum Regulations 2021.

Benefits from reporting reportable incidents include:

  • providing information to Earth Resources Regulation as to the nature and cause of an incident, the risk posed and the response underway or proposed. This in turn enables Earth Resources Regulation to provide informed comment to Emergency Services or other areas of government if required
  • the information received is used to analyse trends within the industry, identify emerging issues and direct activity with co-regulators such as WorkSafe Victoria, Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Country Fire Authority (CFA), Fire Rescue Victoria and local government authorities
  • reporting assists with investigation and root cause analysis to guide continuous improvement and helps promote a culture of safety and compliance
  • reporting in accordance with regulatory obligations ensures transparency in operations, enhances community confidence in the industry and in the individual authority holder.

Earth Resources Regulation also encourages the reporting of incidents related to the public, environment, or integrity of the petroleum operation with minor or no consequence that occur within the worksite, as this is often a useful way to anticipate and prevent more serious incidents from occurring.

Decision diagram to demonstrate if the incident is reportable, report the event to Earth Resources Regulation Officer within 3 days in writing or call 000 if an emergency. If the incident is considered not to be a reportable incident, report into internal systems, and if unsure, ask the Earth Resources Regulation Officer or Regional Manager

Earth Resources Regulation maintains a 24-hour response and notification capability.

The first point of contact for any out of hours response is the Earth Resources Regulation Duty Officer (DO). The DO is responsible for the initial management of incidents and informing the Chief Inspector of incidents of significance. The DO can be contacted at any time by calling 0419 597 010 or emailing ERRChiefInspector@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Where it is unclear as to whether an incident is reportable, the DO should be contacted for advice.

In relation to petroleum, it is an offence under regulation 45(2), 45(3), 45(4) and 45(5) of the regulations to fail to give notice of an incident at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, and can result in enforcement action, including prosecution of the offence.

Failure to report can be categorised as a failure to:

  • report reportable incidents at all or
  • report in the prescribed manner or
  • provide a written report as requested.

Section 213(3) of the Petroleum Act 1998 makes it an offence to fail to comply with any lawful requirement of an inspector or making a statement knowing it to be false or misleading. Such an offence may result in enforcement action being taken.

Downloads

Relevant legislation and regulations

Page last updated: 27 May 2022