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Council of Australian Governments' meeting [10th, Canberra, 8 June 2001]: communique.



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COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS’ MEETING

8 JUNE 2001

CANBERRA

COMMUNIQUE

INTRODUCTION

The Council of Australian Governments today held its tenth meeting in Canberra. The Council, comprising the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), had wide ranging discussions on important areas of national interest.

This Communique sets out the agreed outcomes of the discussions.

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE

Australia is free from major exotic animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). If an outbreak of FMD was to occur in Australia, there would be a major impact on the agricultural sector, the national economy and rural and regional Australia. Losses in export revenue for the livestock sector alone are conservatively estimated to amount to at least $5.8 billion in the first year. Recovery costs for agriculture and other affected sectors of the economy would be likely to amount to billions of dollars over several years after the outbreak has been eradicated.

The Commonwealth government in its 2001-02 Budget has committed a further $593 million over five years to strengthen Australia’s border agencies in their work to counter threats from exotic pests and diseases, which is particularly relevant to the risks of foot and mouth disease in current circumstances. A range of emergency response plans is also in place to deal with an emergency situation should an outbreak occur.

The Council noted that if a significant outbreak of FMD occurred in Australia, the technical, logistical, social and financial response needed to manage the situation would be on a whole-of-government level not experienced before in

peacetime. Appropriate plans therefore need to be upgraded and tested. The Council agreed to the continued high priority review and revision of national whole-of-government frameworks for the prevention, preparedness for, and management of a major emergency disease outbreak, such as FMD. COAG agreed to establish a Foot and Mouth Disease Taskforce under the oversight of COAG Senior Officials to coordinate the development of these frameworks. The Taskforce will be chaired by the Commonwealth and comprise two officials from each jurisdiction - one from First Ministers’ departments and one

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from the lead line agency. A representative from ALGA will attend the Taskforce.

The Council also agreed to:

• the development by States/Territories and the Commonwealth of complementary whole-of-government frameworks, for their respective jurisdictions, in enhancing:

- peak level arrangements across and within jurisdictions (beyond the well tested agricultural arrangements); - emergency roles and linkages across Commonwealth agencies; - emergency roles and linkages across and within State/Territory

agencies including the use of all their relevant powers to control emergency outbreaks;

• the need to adequately support, implement and test these frameworks;

• the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ), or its successor, reporting after its August 2001 meeting to members of COAG out-of-session on the outcomes of its review of emergency animal disease prevention, preparedness and response arrangements;

• the provision to members of COAG out-of-session, by mid-October 2001, of a report by COAG Senior Officials outlining the whole-of-government frameworks; and

• the holding as soon as possible of a full-scale simulation under third party oversight to test the arrangements.

ENERGY POLICY

The Council considered energy policy on a national level, recognising that the energy sector affects the lives of all Australians and that it underpins responsible and sustainable development, international competitiveness and economic growth. COAG also recognised that energy markets should operate to maximise provision of reliable energy services and that the effective operation of an open and competitive energy market contributes to delivering benefits to households, small business and industry. COAG noted key strategic issues for Australia’s energy future, including the important emerging role gas will play in any national energy policy because of its domestic abundance and flexibility and it is a clean energy source. The challenge for the energy sector is to deliver these benefits within a sustainable development framework and to meet expectations of social responsibility and responsiveness to consumers.

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All Australian Governments reaffirmed their existing commitments to currently-agreed principles, reforms and currently-announced timetables underpinning the development of the national electricity and gas markets and reform of the energy sector. However, COAG noted the concerns of Queensland and South Australia that while they will make their best endeavours, they were not prepared to reaffirm current contestability extension timetables. COAG also agreed to a national energy policy framework to guide future energy policy decision-making by jurisdictions.

Against this background, COAG agreed on the following priority actions:

In order that Governments can provide effective policy leadership to meet the opportunities and challenges facing the energy sector, COAG agreed to establish a new Ministerial Council on Energy and to provide it with a series of priority tasks for its consideration and resolution. These tasks include examining: future energy use scenarios for Australia; potential for harmonising regulatory arrangements; opportunities for increasing interconnection and system security in electricity and gas; and ways of enhancing cooperative energy efficiency activities. COAG also agreed that the new Council be established and meet as soon as possible including to oversee the processes of the independent review (see below), which is designed to provide a firm information basis for future government decisions on energy market development and for the Council's future work.

COAG noted the establishment of a National Electricity Market (NEM) policy Forum of Ministers with specific policy responsibilities in relation to the NEM from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, in which the Commonwealth and Tasmania will participate. In the context of previous COAG agreements to establish a NEM, the Forum will give urgent attention to NEM issues of impediments to investment in interconnection, transmission pricing, regulatory overlap, market behaviour (eg. rebidding) and the effectiveness of regulatory arrangements in promoting efficient market outcomes. It will also address regional boundaries and demand side participation.

In this context, COAG agreed to request the National Electricity Code Administrator (NECA) to review Value of Lost Load (VoLL). COAG also agreed to request NECA give early attention to NEM bidding and rebidding rules in its current review under the National Electricity Code.

The Forum will report to members of COAG following its first meeting in late June on key approaches and timetables for addressing these priority issues.

In light of strategic issues affecting Australia's future energy requirements and the need to respond to likely future challenges and international developments, COAG agreed to an independent review of energy market directions so that

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further Australian energy market development can be focussed on areas likely to generate the most significant benefits.

COAG agreed that this review will identify the strategic issues for Australian energy markets and the policies required from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. The Panel will consist of three eminent, technically

qualified persons with the Commonwealth to select the chair and the two further members to be agreed by the Commonwealth, the States and Territories. The Review, which will include a public consultation and submission process, will report within 12 months of its commencement, with its report being provided concurrently to all COAG members through the new Ministerial Council on Energy. Costs of the Review will be shared on a 50:50 basis between the Commonwealth and the States/Territories.

Further details of COAG’s agreement, including agreed terms of reference for COAG’s independent review of energy market directions can be found at www.dpmc.gov.au/docs/comm_state_index.cfm

REVIEW OF MINISTERIAL COUNCILS

Following a review of the number and role of Ministerial Councils, Heads of Government have agreed to a streamlining of Ministerial Councils which combines a number of Councils in related functional fields, to strengthen their strategic direction and improve opportunities for cooperative policy development. The proposed changes are outlined at www.dpmc.gov.au/docs/comm_state_index.cfm

The Council further agreed that Senior Officials would develop, for consideration out-of-session by COAG, a proposal for a more fundamental structural reform to the Ministerial Council system.

As part of the review of Ministerial Councils, COAG agreed to introduce new “Guidelines for the Creation of New Ministerial Councils”. The guidelines introduce a series of issues to be addressed before a Council can be established. COAG further agreed upon a revised version of the existing Broad Protocols and General Principles for the Operation of Ministerial Councils with a view to improving the overall coordination, efficiency and effectiveness of Ministerial Councils.

In this context, COAG agreed that local government be represented appropriately on Ministerial Councils where there was a clear local government interest.

Heads of Government reaffirmed that Ministerial Councils play an important role in facilitating consultation and cooperation between Governments. The agreed changes will improve the co-ordination and integration of policy and

other issues of common interest within the Federation.

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REVIEW OF DISASTER RELIEF AND MITIGATION

The Council agreed to commission a wide-ranging review of how Australia deals with natural disasters. Across the nation, the economic cost of natural disasters averages over $1.1 billion annually. The review will examine arrangements for natural disaster relief and community recovery, gaps in disaster insurance, disaster mitigation programmes, and Australia’s capacity to

respond to such emergencies. All jurisdictions, and ALGA, will take part in the review, which will be chaired by the Commonwealth. Through this important review governments will jointly assess the effectiveness of programmes to reduce the risks associated with disasters, and to help communities manage, respond and recover from them. In doing so, the review will identify options for improving on existing arrangements.

RECONCILIATION FRAMEWORK

The Council confirmed its continuing commitment to addressing the social and economic disadvantages experienced by many indigenous Australians.

All governments have reported progress in implementing the reconciliation framework agreed by the Council in November 2000. Governments have focussed on responding to the three priority areas for action under the framework - community leadership, reviewing and re-engineering programmes and services to achieve better outcomes for indigenous peoples, and building

links between the business sector and indigenous communities to advance economic independence. The Council noted that the development of partnerships between indigenous peoples and governments, greater flexibility and coordination between programmes, and a focus on practical outcomes for local communities are key factors in advancing reconciliation.

Ministerial Councils continue to play an important role in the implementation of the reconciliation framework and are progressing the development of action plans, benchmarks and reporting strategies for improving outcomes for indigenous peoples.

The Council noted that it would continue to review progress under the reconciliation framework, and that a detailed report on progress achieved by governments and Ministerial Councils would be coordinated by the Senior Officials’ Working Group and provided to the Council by the end of 2001.

NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR SALINITY AND WATER QUALITY

The Council reviewed the substantial progress being made in giving effect to the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality in Australia agreed on by COAG at its 3 November 2000 meeting. The Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, as well as ALGA reiterated their commitment to

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working with regional communities to address the problems arising from increasing salinity and deteriorating water quality and to finalising the structure and implementation arrangements required for Action Plan projects to commence.

The Council noted that the Commonwealth and South Australia would sign the first Bilateral Agreement under the National Action Plan today and that the ACT will sign the Intergovernmental Agreement, joining Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, which have already done so.

The Council also agreed to the establishment of a Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council to oversee implementation of the Action Plan as part of its consideration of the review of Ministerial Councils.

ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING HUMAN CLONING

The Council committed itself to achieving nationally consistent provisions in legislation to prohibit human cloning1.

It also agreed that jurisdictions work towards nationally consistent approaches to regulate assisted reproductive technology and related emerging human technologies.

In reaching agreement on this latter issue Heads of Government were acutely aware of the need to engage the community on the matter and to ensure that all sectors of the community benefit fully from advances in medical science while prohibiting unacceptable practices. The Council has sought a report from Health Ministers by the end of the year on technical issues with the aim of a nationally consistent approach being in place in all jurisdictions by June 2002.

OTHER MATTERS

The Council discussed the Commonwealth, States and Territory Governments responses to the collapse of HIH Insurance Group and agreed to support the Royal Commission. The Prime Minister briefed the Council on Commonwealth actions for the expeditious establishment of the Royal Commission.

The Prime Minister advised the Council that the Commonwealth would introduce amendments to the Insurance Act 1973 into the current sitting of the Commonwealth Parliament, to reform the prudential regulation of the general insurance industry.

1 The definition of human cloning will take account of the Australian Health Ethics Committee’s advice that a distinction must be drawn between the cloning of human beings, which is ethically unacceptable (and legally prohibited in three States), and the cloning of such parts as DNA or cells which has brought benefits to both science and medicine.

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Heads of Government also discussed the relationship between health and aged care policies, and housing and noted that these issues are being dealt with by respective Ministers.

Heads of Government noted the High Court decision (in Brodie v Singleton Shire Council; Ghantous v Hawkesbury City Council, 31 May 2001) in relation to the “highway rule” and agreed to commission the Australian Transport Council to examine the implications of this decision and report back to Heads of Government, out-of-session if required.

Council of Australian Governments

8 June 2001

COAG ENERGY POLICY DETAILS: 8 JUNE 2001

ATTACHMENT 1

TOWARDS A NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY

Energy policy in context

The energy sector, both stationary and transport, provides an essential underpinning of Australia’s economic, environmental and social goals. Competitively priced and reliable energy services are a key to our international industry competitiveness and

standard of living. Energy services are also essential for the development of Australia's regions. Production and exports of energy commodities, technologies and services also contribute significantly to Australia's national wealth and to job creation.

Australian energy demand is growing rapidly (for example, electricity use has grown by 28 percent between 1990 and 1998, and is forecast to grow by at least that much again by the end of this decade). At the same time, energy supply and use is a significant and increasing source of greenhouse gas emissions (over the same period, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions grew by 31 percent) and is a major factor in our

urban air quality. Meeting our future energy needs will require careful policy design so that fuel choice and use are optimised from economic, operational, reliability and security of supply, and environmental perspectives.

Australia is well endowed with fossil and renewable energy resources and has strong capabilities across a wide range of energy technologies. However, this resource availability and technological capacity is not sufficient, in itself, to guarantee future secure, reliable and competitively priced provision of energy services to business and the community. Australia can be expected to remain substantially reliant on its fossil fuel supplies for energy needs for the foreseeable future. Efficient energy markets and an effective policy framework are needed to reduce investment uncertainty, facilitate infrastructure development, encourage the development and uptake of alternative, environmentally friendly energy services and facilitate more efficient use of energy throughout the economy. Sound decision-making processes, both in industry and government, contribute to the achievement of effective and efficient energy markets.

Further energy market development, for example development of our energy resources including natural gas, greater electricity interconnection and more efficient use of energy, will widen Australia's industry development possibilities and associated economic benefits. It also provides opportunities for greater uptake of distributed electricity generation based on gas technologies or for more extensive application of renewable technologies - both offering environmental benefits. In more remote parts of Australia, concerted efforts should be made to provide reliable, cost-effective long-term alternatives to grid power, including renewable energy.

At the same time, it must be recognised that Australia's energy market operates in the context of a dynamic international energy market. Decision-making in this context must be flexible and responsive to significant developments in energy policy in major producing and consuming countries; it must ensure that our international competitiveness is enhanced, and that Australia is well placed to take advantage of emerging opportunities to supply energy commodities, services and technologies.

Energy is a shared responsibility among the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments. The Commonwealth has a national leadership role to ensure overall prosperity and that Australia's international obligations are met. States and Territories have particular responsibilities within their jurisdictions, including in relation to the provision of energy services to the communities they serve.

All Australian Governments recognise that effective operation of an open and competitive national energy market contributes to improved economic and environmental performance, and to delivering benefits to households, small business and industry, including in regional areas. Governments also recognise the substantial progress since the 1991 Industry Commission Report on Electricity Generation and Distribution and the 1995 Australian Gas Industry and Markets Study. However, there remain immediate and long-term issues that need to be addressed. They include National Electricity Market (NEM) issues of capacity, interconnection, pricing (including transmission pricing), NEM governance, and regulatory overlap, the facilitation of increased market penetration of natural gas and improved demand management.

ATTACHMENT 2

A NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY FRAMEWORK

Governments agreed to establish a national energy policy framework to guide future energy policy decision-making by jurisdictions and to provide increased policy certainty for energy users, including households and small business, and for the energy sector.

Agreed Objectives

COAG agreed to the following national energy policy objectives:

Encouraging efficient provision of reliable, competitively-priced energy services to Australians, underpinning wealth and job creation and improved quality of life, taking into account the needs of regional, rural and remote areas;

Encouraging responsible development of Australia's energy resources, technology and expertise, their efficient use by industries and households and their exploitation in export markets; and

Mitigating local and global environmental impacts, notably greenhouse impacts, of energy production, transformation, supply and use.

Agreed Principles

Consistent with these agreed objectives, and in light of their responsibilities under the Constitution, all Australian Governments agreed that their energy policies will:

Recognise the importance of competitive and sustainable energy markets in achieving these objectives;

Continuously improve Australia’s national energy markets, in particular between and among jurisdictions and - recognising growing convergence between energy markets - between energy sources, and supply and demand side opportunities;

Enhance the security and reliability of energy supply, encompassing resource availability, conversion, transportation and distribution, and recognising the impact of government policy and the regulatory environment on private sector investment and operation;

Stimulate sustained energy efficiency improvements to technologies, systems and management proficiency across production, conversion, transmission, distribution and use;

Encourage the efficient economic development and increased application of less carbon-intensive (including renewable) energy sources and technologies, including exploring opportunities for appropriate inter-fuel substitution;

Recognise that Australia’s energy markets operate in the context of world energy markets and seek to enhance Australia’s international competitiveness in these markets;

In view of the importance of long-term investment in the energy sector, provide the degree of transparency and clarity in government decision-making required to achieve confidence in current and future investment decisions;

Carefully consider the social and economic impacts on regional and remote areas, with particular regard to businesses, industries and communities; and

Facilitate constructive, effective inter-jurisdictional cooperation and productive international collaboration on energy matters.

ATTACHMENT 3

PRIORITY ACTIONS

Australian Governments are already cooperating extensively in pursuing energy policy initiatives, particularly in the development of electricity and gas markets, delivery of energy efficiency programmes and the design and implementation of energy-related greenhouse response measures.

As well as agreeing to the proposed national energy policy framework, all Australian Governments today reaffirmed their existing commitments to currently-agreed principles and reforms and currently-announced timetables underpinning the development of the national electricity and gas markets and reform of the energy sector. The Queensland and South Australian Governments noted that while they will make best endeavours to meet current timetables for the extension of retail contestability, some slippage may occur in this area.

At the same time, Governments also recognise that more needs to be done so that the Australian community can gain the full economic, social, environmental and regional benefits from effective and coordinated energy policy. Governments have agreed to the continued development of an efficient national energy market and cooperation in existing joint energy and energy efficiency initiatives.

COAG agreed that the national energy policy objectives be supported by further priority action in the following key areas:

1. National energy policy leadership

Governments agreed to establish a Ministerial Council on Energy as soon as possible and that the new Council should meet as soon as possible. The new Council will have responsibility to provide effective policy leadership to meet the opportunities and challenges facing the energy sector and to oversee the continued development of national energy policy. COAG requested the Council to consider and resolve a series of priority tasks as part of its ongoing work programme (at Attachment 4). Following its first meeting, the new Council will report back to members of COAG out of session on key approaches and timetables on these tasks. The Council will oversee the processes of the independent COAG energy market directions review to be undertaken by a three-person expert panel.

2. Immediate action on high priority national electricity market issues

Governments recognise that there are National Electricity Market (NEM) issues which require immediate attention. COAG noted the convening of a NEM Ministers' Forum comprising Ministers from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory with specific responsibilities in relation to the NEM, in which the Commonwealth and Tasmania will participate. COAG requested the Forum to give urgent attention to the NEM issues of impediments to investment in interconnection, transmission pricing, regulatory overlap, market behaviour (eg rebidding), and the effectiveness of regulatory arrangements in promoting efficient market outcomes. COAG requested the Forum to address regional boundaries and demand side participation (see Attachment 5). This Forum will meet on 26 June 2001 and following this meeting, the Forum will report back to members of COAG out-of-session on key approaches and timetables for priority tasks

(Attachment 5). COAG also asked the National Electricity Code Administrator (NECA) to assess the operation of the Value of Lost Load (VoLL) and, in NECA’s current review under the National Electricity Code, for it to give early attention to NEM bidding and rebidding rules.

3. High-level independent strategic review of medium to longer term energy market directions

Governments recognise that to generate the most significant benefits, including the wider penetration and uptake of natural gas, there needs to be a focus on strategic issues affecting Australia’s energy future, and the capacity of the market and institutions to respond to future challenges and international developments. COAG agreed to an independent review to identify the strategic issues for Australian energy markets and the policies required from Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments. The agreed terms of reference for this review are at Attachment 6. COAG requested the new Ministerial Council on Energy to oversee the review processes (expected to take around 12 months from commencement) and agreed that the final review report would be provided concurrently to all members of COAG through the Ministerial Council on Energy. Costs of the review would be shared by the Commonwealth and the States/Territories on a 50:50 basis.

ATTACHMENT 4

MINISTERIAL COUNCIL ON ENERGY

Objectives

To provide national oversight and coordination of policy development to address the opportunities and challenges facing Australia’s energy sector into the future.

To provide national leadership so that consideration of broader convergence issues and environmental impacts are effectively integrated into energy sector decision-making.

Strategic Priorities

1. Oversight the process of the independent strategic review of energy market directions. (The final review report will be provided concurrently to members of COAG through the Ministerial Council);

2. Examine and report back to members of COAG out-of-session following the Council's first meeting on key approaches and handling timetables for the following priority issues:

Likely energy use (supply and demand) scenarios facing Australia over the next decade and possible policy issues to be addressed;

Existing and potential gas and electricity market regulatory structures and institutional mechanisms, including the extent to which they facilitate an efficient and competitive energy sector with adequate investment and benefits to users;

The potential for harmonising regulatory arrangements, removing inconsistencies and integrating networks;

Opportunities for and impediments to increasing interconnection and system security in gas and electricity; and

Ways of accelerating the delivery of improved consumer choice, providing better information and enhancing cooperative energy efficiency activities and decision making for demand side participation.

ATTACHMENT 5

NEM MINISTERS’ FORUM

Introduction

The objectives for the National Electricity Market (NEM) were established under the COAG microeconomic reform initiative of 1994, with NEM institutions being established following commitments by all Australian Governments to National Competition Policy in 1995. Within this framework, NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT are participating jurisdictional NEM members and Ministers from those jurisdictions have specific policy responsibilities in relation to the NEM.

Ministers from NEM jurisdictions have agreed to establish a policy Forum to consider issues of governance and market development. In doing so they have invited the relevant Ministers from the Commonwealth and Tasmania to participate in the NEM Ministers' Forum.

NEM Ministers' Forum Objectives

To coordinate and oversight policy development on matters dealing with the governance, market development and system security and reliability of the NEM;

To provide a forum where matters of mutual interest can be discussed between the participating jurisdictions and with the Commonwealth and Tasmania; and

To ensure a high level of policy stability and predictability in the market and the National Electricity Code to provide a secure basis for investment decision-making.

Priority Tasks

As part of its consideration of energy policy, COAG requested the NEM Ministers' Forum, in the context of the COAG agreements to establish a NEM, to give urgent attention to examining the following priority NEM issues, and to report to members of COAG out-of-session on key approaches and timetables for these priority tasks following the Forum's first meeting:

impediments to investment in interconnection;

transmission pricing;

improved integration of transmission networks;

reducing regulatory overlap and institutional inefficiencies;

market behaviour (eg rebidding);

demand side participation; and

oversight of the NECA report on the operation of the National Electricity Code.

ATTACHMENT 6

COAG ENERGY REVIEW TERMS OF REFERENCE

Introduction

All Governments recognise that effective operation of an open and competitive national energy market is central to improved economic and environmental performance, and to delivering benefits to households, small business and industry, including in regional areas. Governments also recognise there must be a focus on strategic issues affecting Australia’s energy future, and the capacity of the market and institutions to respond to future challenges and international developments. A review would identify the strategic issues for Australian energy markets and the policies required from Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to allow further market development to focus on areas likely to generate the most significant benefits, including the wider penetration and uptake of natural gas.

Proposed Issues

The review will be a forward-looking, strategic study to facilitate decision-making by Governments. Without limiting the conduct or scope of the review, priority issues for consideration will be:

1. Identifying any impediments to the full realisation of the benefits of energy market reform;

2. Identifying strategic directions for further energy market reform;

3. Examining regulatory approaches that effectively balance incentives for new supply investment, demand responses and benefits to consumers;

4. Assessing the potential for regions and small business to benefit from energy market development;

5. Assessing the relative efficiency and cost effectiveness of options within the energy market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity and gas sectors, including the feasibility of a phased introduction of a national system of greenhouse emission reduction benchmarks; and

6. Identifying means of encouraging the wider penetration of natural gas including increased upstream gas competition, value adding processes for natural gas and potential other uses such as distributed generation, because it is an abundant, domestically available and clean energy resource.

Proposed Review Process

The review will not duplicate, and should take account of the recommendations of recent or soon-to-be completed independent national reviews of any aspect of these issues. The review will be undertaken by a three-person expert panel. The panel Chair will be selected by the Commonwealth and its other members will be agreed by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments. It is expected that the review will take around 12 months from commencement. Review processes will be overseen by the Ministerial Council on Energy and the final review report will be provided to members of COAG through the Ministerial Council on Energy.

REVIEW OF MINISTERIAL COUNCILS IMMEDIATE STREAMLINING OF SOME EXISTING COUNCILS 1

Ministerial Councils

Regional Development Council Create new Council by amalgamating regional development issues from Industry, Technology and Regional Development Council (ITRDC) and informal Regional Development Ministers meetings.

Industry and Technology Ministers’ Council Create new Council following removal of regional development issues from ITRDC. Comprising the remaining industry and technology issues from ITRDC.

Local Government and Planning Ministers’ Council Amalgamate existing Local Government Ministers’ Conference and Planning Ministers’ Conference.

Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Council Create new Council.

Gene Technology Council Create new Council.

Ministerial Council on Energy Create new Council subsuming the energy component of Australian and New Zealand Minerals and Energy Council (ANZMEC).

Ministerial Council on Minerals Create new Council following removal of the energy component from ANZMEC. Comprising the remaining minerals component from ANZMEC.

Natural Resource Management Council Create new Council subsuming NRM issues from the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ), the Australian and New Zealand Environment and

Conservation Council (ANZECC) and the Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture (MCFFA).

Primary Industries Council Create new Council subsuming industries policy from ARMCANZ and MCFFA.

Environment Protection and Heritage Council Create new Council by amalgamating the National Environment Protection Council (NEPC), the non-NRM component of ANZECC and Heritage Ministers’ Meeting.

Other Ministerial Fora National Electricity Market (NEM) Ministers’ Forum Create new Forum.

1 Existing Council arrangements to continue unless specified above.