Periodic independent review of the Code of Conduct is embedded into the Code framework, functioning as a critical transparency and accountability mechanism, It is designed to ensure that the Code continues to operate effectively, and delivers on its intended aims as the Australian Carbon Industry matures and develops. This included an initial review before the end of the initial two-year ‘Foundation Stage’ (30 June 2020), and ongoing three-yearly reviews during the ‘Operational Stage’, which began on 1 July 2020. This ongoing independent review cycle will begin following the initial transition year of the Operational Stage, with the next review slated for FY24.


2020 Foundation Stage Review

The first Independent Review was undertaken in 2020 by Virginia Malley (prior to her appointment as Chair of the Code Review Panel in 2021). The review included consultations with the Code Administrator, Signatories, industry and government stakeholders, and a range of community stakeholders, including Indigenous, landholder and farming representatives. The Foundation Stage review enabled consideration and implementation of the necessary requirements to allow for an appropriate transition from foundation to full operation.

It provided 46 recommendations to the Administrator, which were broadly related to: providing clarity to Signatories on the Code’s requirements; reducing regulatory and administrative burden; improving consumer protections for Indigenous stakeholders; establishment of the Code Review Panel; enhancement of the integrity of the industry as a whole; management of risk and confidentiality of information; and ongoing administration of the Code.

Following the receipt of the Review, the Code Administrator undertook a public consultation process to receive feedback. Twelve formal written submissions were received (some of which are listed below), which fed into a number of individual and group consultation sessions with stakeholders and Signatories. Feedback was also received on draft Code text and supporting guidance documents, all of which was an important input into the Code Administrator’s implementation of the Review’s recommendations from 1 July 2021.