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2012-13 Annual Report - Appendix 5: Ecologically sustainable development
Appendix 5 - Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance
The object of the ARPANS Act is to protect the health and safety of people and to protect the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. In accordance with the Act, ARPANSA takes into account the radiological impact on the environment in assessing licence applications from Commonwealth entities and their contractors.
The Agency supports and promotes practices that can improve energy management and environmental practices within the Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra offices. ARPANSA has in place an Environment Policy and is committed to:
- complying with relevant Commonwealth and state environment legislation and with the Australian Government's environmental policies and initiatives
- implementing a continually improving standard of environmental performance and provide an environmentally sound workplace
- integrating environmental, social and economic considerations in its decision making including decisions on purchasing, in contracting for goods and services and in any building work it undertakes
- encouraging openness, transparency and improved accountability by reporting its environmental management annual reports and engaging with the community
- implementing and maintaining an Environmental Management System aligned with the ISO 14001 Standard.
ARPANSA has commenced planning for the third stage of the Yallambie building renovations. Funding for stage 3 was provided in the Federal Budget on 14 May 2013.
This latest stage of works addresses the balance of the Work Health and Safety risks identified in an independent audit report commissioned by ARPANSA included safety issues with the fire protection and emergency systems and the continuing presence of asbestos. These constituted non-compliance with the Building Code of Australia and/or the Australian Standards. The first stage of upgrades of the building will ensure that it is fit for purpose and compliant with the Building Code of Australia and/or the Australian Standard and ensure that the physical requirements of the Work Health and Safety legislation are achieved. Under new Workplace Health and Safety laws, the Government is responsible for providing a safe workplace for its staff. The upgrade will allow for ARPANSA to continue to deliver laboratory services and staff would have a safe physical work environment in which to operate. Further upgrades to the building would be needed at a later date.