The OTR is represented on a number of national and Trans-Tasman standards and advisory committees, which are listed in the annual reports.
This is to ensure that the views of the office are considered in the developments of new codes and standards as well as in the development or administration of functions relevant to its responsibilities.
Electrical Technical Advisory Committee
The Electrical Technical Advisory Committee is established under the Electricity Act 1996. The committee comprises representatives of licensed electricity entities, electrical contractor and employee associations, local government and the OTR.
The function of the committee is to advise the Technical Regulator on any matters relating to the Technical Regulator's functions. The members of the committee are listed in the Technical Regulator's annual report each year.
Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council
The Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) is a Trans-Tasman council established to promote uniformity and consistency in the regulation of the electricity industry within Australia and in New Zealand. ERAC has representatives from all Australian states and territories and New Zealand and meets twice a year to address key safety, technical and regulatory issues of the electricity industry.
ERAC addresses regulatory matters related to technical and worker licensing issues and aims to develop national strategies to consistently address the challenges facing the industry.
ERAC meetings are convened in five sessions, each meeting chaired separately. They cover general matters, electrical installations and inspection, electrical equipment safety, licensing and supply.
ERAC is a forum for resolving technical, safety and worker licensing issues of national significance. Working groups, established by the chairman of a session, develop strategies to resolve issues on behalf of the council and advise the Standing Council on Energy and Resources (SCER) of the issues to ensure that ministers and senior officials are aware of the issues and develop strategies to resolve them.
The OTR participates in a number of working groups to ensure that South Australian issues are addressed at a national level.
Energy Planning and Regulators Coordination Group
The Energy Planning and Regulators Coordination Group is established under an agreement involving the OTR, ESCOSA and the Executive General Manager of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
Although the regulators and AEMO have specific roles within the electricity industry, the coordination group can address the need for a cooperative approach in gathering and exchanging of information and providing mutual support in conducting investigations.
The coordination group is established to ensure that the three offices involved are aware of activities that can affect their functions. Mutual awareness of these offices leads to an overall improvement in the efficiency and consistency of electricity regulations in South Australia.
Standards and Codes Committee
The regulations under the Electricity Act 1996 and the Gas Act 1997, and regulations and proclamation under the Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000 refer to a number of standards. When referred to by legislation, the standards become part of the legal framework.
The Water Industry Act 2012 enables the Technical Regulator to publish standards, which may apply, adopt or incorporate codes, standards (including Australian Standards) or other documents. Compliance is required with standards referred to by or under legislation.
The standards also prescribe best practice methods and tests that may form bases for legal defence in the prosecution of electrical, gas fitting or plumbing workers and contractors. Although other tests are also available, the standards provide more solid bases as they are outcomes of accepted development processes reviewed by a range of stakeholders.
The standards are under continuous review. The OTR maintains a close and important involvement in the review processes as it is to regulate the industry according to the outcome of the reviews and the results of the application of the standards.
Electricity standards, codes and amendments
A list of developments, reviews and publications of electrical standards involving the OTR is listed in the Technical Regulator's annual reports.
Due to the large number of Australian and New Zealand standards, representation in their review and development is shared between all Australian and New Zealand regulators and industry. This is to minimise cost and ensure that the standards are practical, commercially equitable and suitable for regulatory purposes.
Gas Technical Advisory Committee
The Gas Technical Advisory Committee is established under the Gas Act 1997. The committee comprises representatives from licensed gas companies, gas contractor and employee associations involved in the gas supply industry, local government and the OTR.
The committee is established to provide advice to the Technical Regulator on any matters relating to the Technical Regulator's functions.
Gas Technical Regulators Committee
The Gas Technical Regulators Committee (GTRC) is a forum comprising all Australian and New Zealand gas safety regulators where national and Trans-Tasman gas safety issues are discussed twice a year.
The committee is mainly responsible for advising the SCER on issues related to gas safety.
Issues addressed by the committee include a range of topics such as:
- the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement
- gas quality standards for natural gas and LPG
- gas appliance certification schemes
- standards for gas appliances, components and infrastructure
- standards for gas installation work
- safety issues relating to unsafe appliances, installations and infrastructure
- regulatory practices.