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Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Page: 4495


Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (BatmanMinister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism) (09:26): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill excludes application of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 and the Offshore Minerals Act 1994. The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 establishes a single national Personal Property Securities Register. While yet to commence operation, it is to become the primary register of personal property securities interests throughout Australia.

Commonwealth legislation, including the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 and the Offshore Minerals Act 1994, is not automatically affected by the Personal Property Securities Act 2009. However, it is stated Commonwealth policy that, in order to remove duplication and increase clarity, existing approval and registration requirements for personal property securities and dealings in these securities are either removed from Commonwealth acts so the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 registration requirements only will apply or that the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 is expressly excluded from the application to personal property under the relevant Commonwealth acts dealing with personal property and interests in personal property.

Chapters 4 and 5 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 relate to registration of, transfers of and dealings in petroleum titles and greenhouse gas titles respectively. Chapter 3 of the Offshore Minerals Act 1994 relates to registration and dealings for offshore minerals titles. Under these registration amendments in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 the regulator has the ability to refuse to approve a dealing in relation to a petroleum title and the responsible Commonwealth minister has the ability to refuse to approve a dealing in relation to a greenhouse gas title.

The ability to refuse approval and registration of an interest underpins the purpose of the registration requirement to enable the Australian government to ensure the sustainability of the entities that are potentially able to exercise control over the exploitation of Australia's offshore petroleum resources. There is no such approval mechanism contained in the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 as a precursor to registering an interest on the Personal Property Securities Register.

By not excluding the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 from the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, the situation could conceivably arise whereby a dealing refused under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 could in fact be registered in the Personal Property Securities Register, which could lead to legal confusion over the standing of the security interest. Further to this, state and territory governments have advised the Commonwealth that they are electing to opt out of or exclude the operation of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 for their onshore mining schemes—therefore excluding application of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. The Offshore Minerals Act 1994 is important to ensure consistency between the onshore and offshore mining regimes and to minimise the potential regulatory burden and cost to the mining industry and its investors in complying with different registration requirements, potentially skewing investment between onshore and offshore and having to keep abreast of developments.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.