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. 

Current initiatives

Community and environment reference group

NOPSEMA established a Community and Environment Reference Group 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 - May 2020 (PDF 102KB).

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:

  • Mr Daniel Marsh, stakeholder engagement and social impact management practitioner, based in Perth
  • Ms Jacqueline Hine, conservation advocate and regional community member, based in Exmouth
  • Ms Kirsten Rough, commercial fishing industry participant in South Australia
  • Ms Mannie Shea, commercial fishing and stakeholder engagement advocate, based in Fremantle
  • Ms Pauline Nolle, commercial fishing industry participant and advocate based in Victoria
  • 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
  • Ms Ruby Hamilton, environmental law graduate based in Perth
  • Dr Andrew Levings, commercial fishing, consultant on fisheries including for various clients including the offshore petroleum sector, based in Victoria
  • Mr Liam O'Connor, Work Health and Safety professional and conservation advocate with experience in heritage areas/Indigenous communities, based in Perth
  • Ms Jess Lerch, conservation advocate and environmental policy practitioner, based in Tasmania

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: cerg@nopsema.gov.au

Expressions of interest are currently being sought for new members of the Community Environment Reference Group. For more information, see the news and media page.

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 (PDF 576KB) 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 (PDF 160KB) provides details of the completed work program, as well as a summary of engagement with stakeholders.