2015 red tape reforms.
On 23 September 2015 the Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Advisory Council was established to oversee a review of red tape in the NGO sector. The newly formed council will be reporting back to government mid-year 2016. The council members are experienced in the Northern Territory’s NGO sector, with representatives from each region of the NT.
Read more on the NGO Advisory Council.
A new range of measures has been announced which will provide regulatory certainty, thereby reducing costs. The measures address community concerns about onshore oil and gas development.
Find out more on the Department of Mines and Energy website.
The Northern Territory Government has commenced structural reform to its environmental assessment and approval process to provide regulatory certainty for major projects and pave the way for a One-Stop-Shop for Commonwealth - NT environmental approvals. The new regulatory setting will have the following features:
Find out more on the NT EPA website.
Amendments to the Building Regulations, effective on 1 November 2015, removes NT WorkSafe as a reporting authority for building certifiers. Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations sets out the authorities that a building certifier must contact and seek a report. The amendment means that certifiers are no longer required to seek a report from NT WorkSafe prior to deciding on an application for a building or occupancy permit.
Checks on cosmetic standards for commercial passenger vehicles (CPV) at the MVR have been removed from September 2015. Changes to the annual roadworthy inspections for CPV including enabling CPV operators to choose to have inspections through private industry and the removal of the cosmetic standard checks from the annual inspection. This enables tourism operators greater choice and flexibility in where / what time their vehicle inspections take place, helps to alleviate long wait times at the MVR and ensures that the focus of an annual inspection is on the key priorities of vehicle standards and safety.
The Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) will oversee a review of red tape in the Tourism sector. The council will identify and offer solutions to reduce the red tape burden on the tourism sector. The establishment of the council is an initiative of the NTG Red Tape Reduction Strategy to target specific sectors to improve the regulatory and compliance framework of the sector. The council comprises 10 representatives from the following regions: Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine, East Arnhem and Tennant Creek.
The review will produce a final report including recommendations to the Minister for Business in early 2016 for government’s consideration to:
The NT Government Good Practice Guidelines for Funding Non-Government Organisations aims to reduce red tape by providing greater clarity and certainty for NGOs as to government funding practices. They set the context for the provision of funding to service providers and establish fundamental principles and good practice guidelines that can be applied to funding practices across all NT Government agencies. The Good Practice Guidelines aims to ensure accountability and to achieve quality and value, provide stability of service provision and better outcomes for clients and communities, to monitor the delivery and results of a service against the agreed outcomes. For more information please refer to non-government organisations.
Remote Engagement and Coordination Strategy to be implemented as a best practice framework for NT Government agencies that interact with remote communities. The strategy will reduce duplication of community visits and streamline the engagement practices of government staff working in remote communities. This approach will ensure the information gathered from meetings will be shared amongst all the other agencies, so locals and their issues will be heard and understood effectively. Currently the strategy is looking at including an electronic issues tracking system to capture and record community priorities and an interactive online toolkit for public servants outlining best practice engagement techniques. The interactive online toolkit will include practical, information, tips, guidance and advice on working with remote communities. To view the strategy visit Remote Engagement and Coordination Strategy.
The Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory has extended the term of the waterfowl permit. The permit is now available with options of one to five years. Already 735 five-year permits have been issued and 213 one-year permits have been issued. The waterfowl permit application and payment is now available online ensuring a fast and efficient process. One year permits are $20, while five year permits are $80, offering a saving to customers. For more information and to apply online please visit wildlife permits.
The Statute Law Amendment (Directors’ Liability) Act 2015 amends 40 Northern Territory Acts and two Regulations to align with national agreed reforms for director’s (‘executive officers’) liability provisions in legislation.
Over 900 Director Liability offences have been removed and the level of liability has been reduced for over 240 offences.
The Directors Liability reform removes an excessively risk averse approach to regulation and frees up companies and not-for-profits to be more productive.
The reforms aim to apply a balanced, risk-based approach to regulation by ensuring that a director is not liable for corporate fault unless they have personally assisted in the commission of an offence, or been negligent or reckless in relation to the corporation’s offending. The reforms also create national consistency for simplicity and clarity for corporations operating across jurisdictions.
Consistent and fair liability provisions will improve productivity and enhance a risk assessment based approach by providing guidelines on what minimum standards of due diligence are expected to avoid prosecution. Directors are freed up to focus on ways to improve value, competitiveness and profitability.
These reforms apply to Directors of body corporates as defined in the Commonwealth’s Corporations Act and will benefit thousands of businesses in the NT including:
Amendments to the NT Planning Scheme removes the 90m height limit on buildings in Darwin City. Restrictions remain on buildings on The Esplanade and the south-western side of Mitchell Street. Potential developers will need to seek prior consent from the Department of Defence, Darwin International Airport and the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional development before seeking approval through the normal NT planning system.
Darwin Waterfront precinct is outside the Darwin City zone and will not be affected by the amendments.
Find out more on the Darwin city centre building height control.
The Department of Transport has developed new guidelines that make it easier for developers to identify and understand obligations and requirements where construction and development may impact the Territory’s road network, including physical infrastructure, traffic, operation, management, capacity and safety.
By streamlining the development approval process, developers, builders, design consultants and government officials now have clarity and consistency of information on a range of permits, approvals and processes that may be required. The guidelines also outline how the Department of Transport collaborates with the Department of Lands, Planning and Environment.
Last year (2014/15) the Department of Transport processed 891 development approvals.
Applications for an Authority Certificate are now available to download online from the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority website. Making it easier to find information and save time, the website provides links to fact sheets and application forms to help people and organisations proposing development on Aboriginal sacred sites. The website provides fact sheets on information registering sacred sites and authority certificates, and the relevant application forms. Information on fees and charges is also available.
From 1 July 2015, electronic gaming machine licences (EGM) can be transferred to a new entity or substituted to a new venue with the related liquor licence. This removes a cost and barrier to the transfer of a business or corporate restructure, and provides greater options for business growth by creating the opportunity to move both liquor and gaming licences to a new venue. Previously, a business had to hand back gaming machine licences to Licensing NT but could transfer or substitute the related liquor licence. This reform also allows business owners who are seeking to sell their business or restructure to retain / realise the value of the EGM licences.
Over 2,300 food businesses can now apply for, renew and pay for registration online with a SmartForm, saving time. Also prefills business details if you are the holder of an Australian Business Account. Previously, payment could only be via phone, post or in person at the Receiver of Territory Monies (cheques and cash).
In collaboration with Police Fire and Emergency Services’s SafeNT, Territory Business Centres now have access to CrimTrac allowing it to deliver to applicants a quicker issuance of licences for a range of occupations, significantly reducing approval times. Licences affected are those which require a police history name check, starting with: Bookmaker Key Employee renewal, Tobacco Retail new, Tobacco Retail renewal, Tobacco Retail transfer and Tobacco Retail Change of Manager, with more to come.
The Department of Business has improved ‘over the counter services’ to the business community and reduced turnaround times. The following licences are now issued by the Territory Business Centres (TBC) with name checks performed by TBC accessing the CrimTrac system. Auctioneer new, Bookmaker Permit renewal, Casino Operative renewal, Gaming Machine Manager and Repairer renewal, Commercial and Private Agents Individual / Corporation new and renewal, Continuing Special Liquor new and renewal, Escorts Grant of Manager and Operator Licence renewal, Motor Vehicle Dealer Manager, Private Security Crowd Controller and Security renewal, Property Agents, Security Firm renewal, Secondhand Dealer and Pawnbroker new and renewal, Dangerous Goods Drivers Licence, Shot Firer Blasting renewal and Shot Firer Special Effects and Fire Work Display renewal.
Department of Business will commence any changes to its legislation and regulations at only four times throughout the year: 1 January, 1 April, 1 July, 1 October, making it easier for businesses, individuals and non-government organisations to monitor and plan for changes in regulatory requirements.
Read more in the Treasury Revenue Circular - RC-GEN-16.
Enacted legislation to move progressively to national energy market regulation.
Read more on the Department of Treasury and Finance website.
New NT EPA Online allows for online applications for new licenses, amendments and renewals. Multiple licenses can be managed under one account. Business no longer have to manage multiple licenses separately or physically complete separate forms every time they need their licence reissued.
National co-operatives reforms will make it easier for co-operatives carrying out business across a state or territory border. Co-operatives will now be able to do so without the costly process of registering in each jurisdiction.
Smaller co-operatives will also benefit through simplified financial reporting to members and removing the obligation to lodge publicly available accounts.
A new fishing app, NT Fishing Mate, has been developed to make life simpler for anglers by offering a quick one stop guide to the new fishing rules.
Read the full media release on the New fishing app.
Northern Territory residents can now choose to receive their licence and car registrations renewals securely and electronically via Australia Post, thanks to a new partnership with the Motor Vehicle Registry.
Read the full media release on Register to pay your bills online.
A 12-month pilot, which will allow appropriately trained NT pharmacists to administer vaccines to eligible adults will begin in June 2015, leading to increased access and greater flexibility for people who require vaccines.
Read the full media release on Pharmacy led immunisation pilot to commence.
Tour operators now have the options of one, three and five year tour operator permits to conduct tours in NT managed parks and reserves. This provides an administrative saving for those operators who take up the three and five year options.
Read more on permits for tour operators in parks.
Changes have made to introduce flexibility to the delivery of the General Construction Induction Training, so that it may be completed in a shorter time, saving time for employees and their employers. Cardholder information is now located in a central database held by NT WorkSafe rather than being held by registered training organisations making it easier to obtain new and replacement cards through Territory Business Centres.
The recent Local Government Legislation Amendment Act will reduce overhead costs for councils, and provides flexibility in the way they conduct by-elections. Changes are:
The Shotfirer Licence term has been extended from one year to five years, removing the need for annual renewals and saving paperwork for approximately 323 licensees. The price for a licence remains the same ($11).
Applicants for permits to conduct commercial activities in NT managed parks and reserves are no longer required to supply copies of certificates / licences related to food handling, liquor licences, etc. The requirement to hold these certificates and licences remains but applicants are not required to supply copies.
Find out more on the permits for businesses in parks.
A review has commenced into the automotive industry to investigate business growth opportunity, consumer protections and regulatory options to support the sector.
Read the full media release on the Automotive Industry Review
PowerWater is offering the convenience of eBilling to receive and pay your bills online anytime, anywhere via your mobile, tablet or computer.
Read more information on paperless billing.
The Northern Territory Government signed a new set of principles with non-government organisations that will reduce their reporting burden.
Read more information on non-government organisations.
The Northern Territory Government is calling on registered builders to provide feedback on how we can reduce red tape in the construction and development sector.
Read more on the construction and development industry review.
Share your ideas on how we can further reduce red tape to support your business