Community Engagement

Community engagement is integral in helping us to promote chemical safety for the protection of human health and the environment in Australia.

Our community engagement strengthens our relationship with all our stakeholders:

  • industry
  • community interest groups
  • the public.

Feedback we receive helps us understand various points of view, gather comprehensive information and understand a range of opinions.

How we engage with the community

We consult, communicate and educate stakeholders in a variety of ways:

  • Strategic Consultative Committee
  • consultations (online, focus groups)
  • surveys
  • workshops
  • education seminars
  • face to face meetings
  • information and support via a free call service
  • online support via the 'contact us' form.

What we consult on

We invite consultation and comment on a range of issues:

  • the legislative reforms currently under way
  • fees and cost recovery options
  • release of existing chemical assessments (IMAP).

We collate and analyse stakeholder feedback and suggestions.

We will tell you a consultation’s outcome (such as recommendations or our response). We will share this information in a variety of ways:

  • website updates
  • Facebook notifications
  • focus group presentations
  • stakeholder subscription emails.

Your right to know

We uphold the principles of the community right to know in the Bahia Declaration 2000 of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety.

We commit to:

  • Informing and improving access to chemical safety information. Our website is the go to for up to date information on chemical safety and regulatory processes. This includes:
    • fact sheets
    • topics of interest items
    • general chemical information
    • chemical assessment reports.
  • Involving all stakeholders so they can have their say on regulatory processes.
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders drawing on their local knowledge and expertise on industrial chemicals. This can include hazards, exposure, controls and use.
  • Collaborating with all stakeholders on regulatory processes that affect them.

Our approach

We follow the below guiding principles and protocols:

  • identify key community stakeholders
  • engagement integrity –to be clear in scope and purpose
  • review past examples and experiences
  • commit resources
  • organise the engagement process into achievable outcomes
  • set clear information requirements and realistic time frames
  • deliver the intended outcomes
  • continual review, monitoring and feedback.

Our community engagement principles

We follow these principles to allow effective and informed participation and provide:

  • timely decisions and delivery of information
  • easy access for all to information, expertise and personnel
  • clear information
  • flexible engagement and participation processes
  • clear reasons for a decision.

Engagement protocols

We accept a shared responsibility to:

  • Communicate in a clear and timely manner. We will take into account comments on the scope, aims and expected outcomes at all stages.
  • Offer accessible, complete and timely information to encourage fair and informed discussion – with attention to the inclusion of small business.
  • Provide important information in plain language. This helps promote the community’s knowledge on chemical safety issues.
  • Inclusivity – make it easy for all individuals, groups or businesses to take part.
  • Establish clear and realistic input timelines that take into account participant resources.
  • Give frequent and open feedback, including information relating to:
    • emerging issues
    • key outcomes from consultations
    • the nature of interested people’s contributions
    • any recommendations arising from the process.
  • Respond to enquiries and direct to appropriate agencies.
  • Encourage constructive exchange of views. We will genuinely attempt to address important issues.
  • Ensure that people can enter the engagement phase at any time.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our community engagement processes.
  • Seek to resolve disputes by explaining reasons for our decisions.
  • Review and keep stakeholder information up to date. Give particular attention to small business and vulnerable sub-populations. Vulnerable sub-populations can mean children, pregnant women and older adults.
  • Review new communication platforms – provide a choice of communication channels to stakeholders.

Last update 29 July 2018