Engagement and transparency

NOPSEMA continues to strive to increase community confidence in the offshore petroleum regulatory regime by improving stakeholder consultation and transparency. This is being achieved through disclosing more information to the public, targeting regulatory work at areas of poor consultation practice, and increasing avenues for community input to better understand its views.CERG

Community and environment reference group

NOPSEMA established a Community and Environment Reference Group (CERG) in March 2018 as an avenue for receiving community views on our performance in regulating offshore petroleum environmental management. See the Terms of Reference - Community and Environment Reference Group - 2023.

Members of the group participate as individuals, rather than representatives of their employer or organisation, and contribute their experience and perspectives in a range of areas that interact with offshore petroleum environmental regulation. These areas include:

  • commercial and recreational fishing

  • conservation advocacy

  • public policy and government functioning

  • small business and tourism

  • regional perspectives from the northern, north-west and south-east regions of Australia.

The Community Environment Reference Group is chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of NOPSEMA with members comprising:

  • Ms Jacqueline Hine, conservation advocate and regional community member, based in Exmouth.
  • Ms Kirsten Rough, commercial fishing industry participant in South Australia.
  • Ms Robyn Glindemann, conservation advocacy and public policy participant, based in Perth.
  • Mr Stuart Field, marine scientist in applied research, planning, management and policy development, based in Perth.
  • Dr Andrew Levings, commercial fishing, consultant on fisheries including for various clients including the offshore petroleum sector, based in Victoria.
  • Ms Jess Lerch, conservation advocate and environmental policy practitioner, based in Tasmania.
  • Ms Danielle Hartshorn, member of the recreational fishing community with an environmental law degree and experience in public policy, based in Perth.
  • Dr Sander Scheffers, Marine Ecology, Ecotoxicology, Coastal Geomorphology, Chemical and Physical Oceanography, Environmental Impact Assessment, with experience in all Australian Marine Bioregions, based in Perth.
  • Mr Sean-Paul Stephens, qualified cultural heritage practitioner and CEO with experience in tangible and intangible First Nations cultural heritage management, Native Title, resources, and social impact. Based in Ngarluma Ngurra (Karratha) Western Australia.
  • Mr Piers Verstegen, strategic thinking and communication, policy analysis, government relations, partnerships, stakeholder engagement and community leadership, based in Perth.
  • Mr Jason Froud, extensive experience leading renewable energy transition in the electricity sector, and experience managing commercial and recreational fisheries along the south and west coasts of Western Australia, and pearling activities in the Pilbara and the Kimberley, based in Perth.
  • Mr Luke Skinner, environmental professional and conservation manager with experience in Traditional Owner engagement, based in South Australia.
  • Mr Terry Atkinson, strong experience in the Indigenous Community Sector, based in Victoria.

You can find meeting records and reports under quick links.

If you would like to contact the Community Environment Reference Group with an issue or some feedback for the group to discuss with NOPSEMA, you can email them at this address:

Completed: Transparency Taskforce

In July 2017, NOPSEMA established the Transparency Taskforce to align efforts on transparency initiatives with other jurisdictions and to assist the industry in identifying solutions to common issues. The Taskforce was overseen by a Steering Committee of Commonwealth and state/territory government agencies and petroleum industry and community representatives.

With a view to amending the Environment Regulations to increase transparency, building community confidence in the offshore petroleum regulatory regime and reducing the size and complexity of environment plans the Taskforce delivered its intended outcomes through six concurrent work streams.

In December 2019, The Taskforce agreed that the Terms of Reference - Transparency Taskforce - Rev 4 - February 2018 had been largely met and the Taskforce had delivered on its intended outcomes. The transparency reforms have not only contributed to improving community confidence in offshore petroleum environmental approvals process, but have added benefits such as lifting industry performance through facilitating the sharing of knowledge, assisting with community acceptance and building a better understanding of petroleum activities offshore.

The Taskforce concluded as a formal established body in April 2020, however NOPSEMA remains committed to working with industry, government, fishing stakeholders and the broader community to promote open and transparent stakeholder consultation as well as coexistence in the marine environment.

Completed: Stakeholder engagement and transparency work program

NOPSEMA identified through regulatory research that poor environmental consultation practices in the offshore petroleum industry can lead to negative impacts on individuals, communities, and organisations. NOPSEMA also received feedback that the current transparency of its decision-making processes and practices was not meeting community expectations. In August 2015, NOPSEMA announced a Stakeholder engagement and transparency work program to address these issues.

A total of 18 initiatives were identified through the work program to address issues associated with consultation and transparency. Of these initiatives, 16 have been completed including enhancements to the NOPSEMA website, publication of additional information on environment plans, increased community engagement and publication of new guidance and information brochures.

NOPSEMA determined that the two remaining initiatives should be taken over by the Transparency Taskforce for further development. On 31 July 2017, NOPSEMA officially closed the work program. The Final Report - Stakeholder engagement and transparency work program - August 2017 provides details of the completed work program, as well as a summary of engagement with stakeholders.

Community and Environment Reference Group (CERG)

Stakeholder Engagement and Transparency Work Program

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