The Paradox of Regulation
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The Paradox of Regulation

What Regulation Can Achieve and What it Cannot

Fiona Haines

This up-to-date book takes a fresh look at regulation and risk and argues that the allure of regulation lies in its capacity to reduce risk whilst preserving the benefits of trade, travel and commerce.
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Chapter 6: The Challenge of Compliance – Major Hazard Risk

Fiona Haines


Regulatory reform is argued to be principally about changing the behaviour of those targeted in the legislation. But, as the previous chapter explained, regulatory reform entailed more than a concern with actuarial risk, more than simply reducing the risk of repeat disaster. So, with reforms moulded to reduce socio-cultural and, importantly, political risk as well as actuarial risk, what was their impact on the ground? The next three chapters explore the response of those worksites, the major hazard facilities, seaports and airports that found themselves responsible for a considerable increase in their regulatory responsibilities. This chapter focuses on the Major Hazard Facilities in three jurisdictions, Victoria, NSW and the Northern Territory. Chapter 7 analyses the response of sea and airports to their increased security responsibilities and Chapter 8 considers the impact of financial reforms. The challenges for MHFs in the three jurisdictions were diverse. For Victoria, safety case reforms had produced positive results, but maintaining standards was an ongoing challenge. In the NT compliance was primarily couched in terms of what industry demanded, rather than the regulator. For NSW frustration was expressed at the time taken for reforms to be implemented with stalled efforts at improving standards evident on the ground. In each jurisdiction, then, political risk management by state and territory governments affected whether and how actuarial risk management was achieved. Further, the experiences of the MHFs also illustrate how they, too, were concerned to reassure various audiences of their competency to operate, a process that was both socio-cultural...

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