NOPSEMA supports WA strategy for marine science collaboration

Article published in the Regulator | Issue 2: 2016 

In June, NOPSEMA joined the launch of the Blueprint for Marine Science: 2016-18 Implementation Strategy. The strategy guides the development of a unique collaboration across industry, government, community and science sectors formed to ensure industry and community confidence in the sustainable development of the  marine environment off Western Australia.

The strategy outlines 32 activities that will remove barriers to collaboration both within and across sectors, deliver efficiencies in science activities and community engagement, and design programs to deal with key issues facing multiple sectors such as decommissioning, marine noise, environmental baselines, productivity and resource access.

“The Blueprint participants agreed that after a period of rapid development, often with an internal focus, we now have an important opportunity to think about working more collaboratively and efficiently on activities that will underpin good policy, good regulation, and good investment,” NOPSEMA  CEO Stuart Smith said.

Mr Smith provided input to the strategy as part of the 18 member WA Premier’s Roundtable for marine science, which was supported by the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI). Mr Smith was joined by leaders from WA regulators the Environmental Protection Authority and Department of Mines and Petroleum, industry partners Woodside Energy, Chevron and APPEA, and key stakeholders from fishing, government and community sectors.

“From our perspective, and those of other regulators at the table, we  see this as a good pathway to support independent and broadly accepted investigation into those areas of uncertainty that are making it increasingly difficult for proponents and regulators alike to make timely and defensible decisions. I’d encourage others interested in this process to engage,”  Mr Smith said.

The implementation strategy is the third stage of a two year, end-user led Blueprint process, supported by WAMSI.

“It has been important to have these senior science end-users from across all key sectors in the same room and not only agreeing the need for change, but also embarking on such a broad multi-sector collaboration, and taking leadership of the process,” CEO WAMSI Patrick Seares said. “The willingness to work together in areas they have not previously is already creating spin off opportunities beyond science in terms of collectively engaging with communities and improving policy debate.”

The Blueprint Strategy can be found at www.marinescienceblueprint.org.au and prospective participants are encouraged to contact the Initiative at  info@marinescienceblueprint.org.au.