Environmental regulations ¨C stakeholder views: brief summary of findings

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Ryan, R, Charles, MB & von der Heidt, T 2009, 'Environmental regulations ¨C stakeholder views: brief summary of findings', report prepared for CRC for Rail Innovation.

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At the beginning of 2008, the CRC for Rail Innovation initiated a research project to examine the case for reform of the currently fragmented environmental regulatory regime facing the Australian rail industry. The overall goal of the project is to provide outcomes that demonstrate a way forward for the rail industry as a means to improve regulatory efficiency and effectiveness of rail¡¯s environmental impacts key stakeholder groups, and maintain rail transport efficiency. The first project output was an Issues Paper examining the forces for and against change in driving reform of environmental regulations. Initial interviews undertaken with a small sample of rail organisations highlighted inconsistencies between State environmental regulations that cause a negative economic impact, particularly regarding the regulation of noise. The next project output provided a comprehensive Inventory of environmental government and industry regulation pertaining to fifteen environmental impacts of rail across all Australian jurisdictions. Overall, 151 pieces of environmental primary and subordinate legislation and 56 pieces of quasi©\legislation (e.g. guidelines and strategies) relating to rail¡¯s environmental impacts were identified. At this third and final stage, research was undertaken to develop a better understanding of the different viewpoints on regulatory regimes held by industry and regulators. A series of qualitative in©\depth interviews with high©\level industry stakeholders, including rail track owners, rail operators, environmental regulators and other government agencies, were undertaken over 3 months. The interview data collected will enable the project team to develop a clearer understanding of the opinions, needs and concerns of these important stakeholder groups regarding environmental regulation of the rail industry. This research will also facilitate a better understanding of the need for regulatory reform and, if so, what form this change should entail (e.g. government vs. industry©\led). This summary document presents a brief overview of the initial research results. A final report of the multiple stakeholder views on environmental regulation of rail will be submitted in mid©\2009 following systematic analysis of all interview data.