Review of the Dams Safety Act 1978 and the Dams Safety Committee
The Dams Safety Committee is a nine-member committee which operates under the Dam Safety Act 1978 and regulates around 370 prescribed dams across the State.
The NSW Commission of Audit examined the dam safety regime and noted that very small reductions in risk were being achieved at a disproportionate cost that was not consistent with safety cost/benefit trade-offs in other industries. The Commission recommended that an independent review be conducted.
Stage 1 – Review
NSW Trade & Investment engaged KPMG to undertake an independent review of the Dam Safety Act 1978 and the Dams Safety Committee.
The review examined the functions and governance of the Dams Safety Committee and the objects of the Act, which have not been reviewed since the Act came into force in 1978.
This timely reassessment of the legislation aims to ensure consistency with contemporary standards, and develop an understanding of the expectations of the NSW public and other jurisdictions' approaches with regard to the safety of dams.
Please note that until the findings of the review are known, it is business as usual for the Dams Safety Committee. Prescribed dam owners should continue to comply with any Dams Safety Committee requests, notices or directives in a timely manner.
Stage 2 – Community consultation
On 8 October 2013 the NSW Government released the KPMG report and a Consultation Paper for a four week consultation period. The deadline for submissions was 5 November 2013.
- KPMG final report - Review of the Dam Safety Act 1978 and Dam Safety Committee (2.6mb PDF)
- NSW Dams Safety Review Community Consultation Paper (319.5kb PDF)
A number of submissions were received and are available below (unless the author requested that their submission be confidential).
All of the submissions received are currently being considered by the NSW Government.