Our compliance approach

The focus of our compliance approach is to maximise environmental outcomes related to the conservation and sustainable use of our state’s natural capital. We have a shared approach to compliance and use a wide range of compliance tools in working with South Australians to manage our natural capital sustainably. We engage early and with purpose to help people do the right thing. These tools begin with setting our expectations for compliance through guidelines and standards, communicating these to the South Australian public, working with communities to meet the government's expectations, monitoring use to avoid environmental harm, and enforcing conditions if harm is caused.

Our compliance activities can be categorised as:

  • guide – we provide guidance to the community on environmental regulation and programs
  • inform – we provide access to legislation, information and data in a variety of ways, which allows the community to understand our expectations
  • enable  – we work with the community by providing practical advice and support mechanisms to help them comply
  • monitor – we monitor compliance levels using a risk-based and targeted approach
  • enforce – we seek voluntary compliance and where this is not effective, use the regulatory tools available to us to achieve compliance

The majority of DEWNR’s compliance activities occur in the guide, inform and enable categories and are led by staff of the appropriate topic or region. Here’s how you can get more information or report an incident

Compliance is everyone’s business

Our shared approach to compliance is underpinned by the philosophy that compliance is everyone’s business and the following five principles:

  • consistent - our responses to non-compliance are consistent
  • targeted - we use a targeted, risk-based approach in our compliance activities
  • supportive - we enable the community to do the right thing and empower our staff to make decisions within our regulatory framework
  • adaptive - we monitor our progress and adjust our actions where necessary
  • transparent - we talk openly with the community regarding DEWNRs priorities and activities and communicate the results of our work

Our commitment to these principles is emphasised in DEWNR's Compliance Commitment Statement. With an emphasis on supporting the community to be voluntarily compliant, the statement sets out our commitment to South Australians to be a consistent, transparent and supportive modern environmental regulator, and ensures we are all on the same page about our environmental compliance priorities and actions.