The NMSC releases issues papers, discussion papers, draft standards and draft Regulatory Impact Statement for public comment. This is an important aspect of the NMSC's consultation program, and is an opportunity for individuals as well as peak groups to make formal submissions on NMSC’s proposals.
Issues and discussion papers
Issues and discussion papers tend to be released fairly early on in the process of developing a standard or initiating marine safety reform. These papers aim to provide some background information on an issue, highlight possible options and often seek through public submissions, to identify key stakeholders and the nature, impact and cost of the proposal.
This part of the process provides an opportunity for stakeholders to identify their interests early on in the process. In some instances this phase may be followed by a public workshop to further clarify issues and to develop a framework including objectives and processes for continuing work on this project. A reference group may be formed to assist the project team at this time.
Draft Standards are released for public comment after a considerable body of research, and discussion with stakeholder groups has been undertaken. These documents reflect the objectives established for that particular project.
The public comment received is reviewed by a joint government and industry reference group, which then makes recommendations to the NMSC on any amendments required to the draft. The NMSC rules on the recommendations, and the draft standard is then revised as a final draft. The final draft is then sent through the Australian Maritime Group, to the Standing Committee on Transport and the Australian Transport Council for endorsement prior to printing and implementation.
A summary report on the submissions received and the recommendations of the reference group is placed on the web
A draft regulatory impact statement (RIS) is released with a draft standard. This document has been reviewed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) prior to it being released. The RIS is designed to help people to understand the costs and benefits of the proposed standard and how the standard differs from the existing situation.
Comments on the RIS will be reviewed by the reference group for the standard. The RIS will then be revised to reflect the findings of the public comment phase, and changes to the draft standard. The RIS is submitted to the Office of Best Practice Regulation.
The final RIS and comments from ORR form part of the submission to the Australian Transport Council.