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Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Page: 99


Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism) (10:39 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety Levies) Act 2003 to provide transitional arrangements in relation to the phasing out of the pipeline safety management plan levy.

Amendments in 2009 to this act and regulations under the act (which commenced on 1 January 2010) removed provisions referencing pipeline safety management plans and pipeline safety management plan levies. The safety case levy was extended to cover pipelines.

While the amendment act provided transitional arrangements, it did so on the basis the states and Northern Territory had agreed to amend their regulations (which correspond to, or mirror, the Commonwealth regulations), in line with Commonwealth amendments, for designated coastal waters. These amendments have not yet occurred in all jurisdictions, which means that some safety case levy payments for facilities that are pipelines due to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority may not be collectable by the safety authority.

To address this situation, the bill provides transitional arrangements to give the states and the Northern Territory until the end of 2012 to implement corresponding amendments under their legislation applying in designated coastal waters, and to ensure that the appropriate levies for activities in these jurisdictional coastal waters can continue to be collected by the safety authority in the intervening period to fund its regulatory activities.

The amendments in this bill ensure the complete coverage of the safety regime for pipelines in designated coastal waters. It provides that from 1 January 2010, when amendments to the act and related regulations came into force, until 31 December 2012 a pipeline safety management plan in force is treated, for the purposes of this act, as if a safety case for the pipeline is in force. These amendments ensure that some safety levies relating to pipelines in designated coastal waters can be collected.

The amendments also include transitional amendments to reflect minor changes relating to a safety case in force in relation to a facility in designated coastal waters, understood to be within the meaning of regulations of a state or the Northern Territory that have not yet been amended to reflect Commonwealth changes made on 1 January 2010. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Ms Gambaro) adjourned.