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Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Page: 4496

Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (BatmanMinister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism) (09:31): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill will ensure that the Australian community does not bear the cost of regulating offshore investor activities, while reducing unnecessary regulatory burden and cost on industry. This bill amends the Offshore Petroleum Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 to provide for the imposition of two new types of levies: firstly, an annual titles administration levy for each year of the term of that title; and, secondly, an environment plan levy to be imposed on a titleholder when an application is made for either acceptance or revision of an environmental plan.

Through these levies the new National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator and the expanded National Offshore Petroleum Safety Environmental Management Authority will recover their operating costs from industry respectively. This bill is complementary to the national regulator bill, which I spoke to earlier, and is also consistent with the regulatory levies measures No. 1 bill of 2011, which enables an officer to recover the costs of regulating offshore wells and well operations.

NOPSEMA and NOPTA are to be funded on a full cost recovery basis with levies from the offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage industries. The level of these fees will be subject to a full cost recovery impact statement to ensure they are consistent with the Australian government cost recovery guidelines in providing increased transparency and the true cost of regulating the offshore oil and gas industry. The fees to recover the establishment and expansion costs for NOPTA and NOPSEMA have already undergone a cost recovery impact statement process, which includes stakeholder consultation in April and May 2011. A further cost recovery impact statement process will be undertaken in the second half of 2011 to determine NOPTA's and NOPSEMA's ongoing operational costs in regulating after 1 January 2012. This reform will ensure that relevant regulatory expertise is available in offshore areas on a cost recovery basis from industry. In addition, industry will have transparency on how its cost recovery fees and levies are calculated.

I also advise the House that I have written to the Speaker, as Chair of the Selection Committee, requesting that the Selection Committee refer the package of bills relating to the establishment of the single national regulator—namely, the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011, the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Regulatory Levies Legislation Amendment (2011 Measures No. 2) Bill 2011, the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Amendment Bill 2011 and the Offshore Petroleum (Royalty) Amendment Bill 2011 to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry for inquiry, hopefully with a reporting date of 27 June 2011 so as to enable the government to consider the committee's report and for debate on the bills to occur in the sitting week commencing 4 July 2011. I further advise the House that before making this request I consulted with the chair and deputy chair of the committee regarding referral and associated reporting date.

I commend the bill to the House and simply say to all those involved in the drafting of what is a complex set of legislative instruments: thanks for an exceptionally hard job done over a very short period.

Debate adjourned.