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- Start of Business
- Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
- Work Health and Safety Bill 2011
- Work Health and Safety (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2011
- Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment Bill 2011
- Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Registration Charges Consequentials) Bill 2011
- Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011
- Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill 2011
- Legislative Instruments Amendment (Sunsetting) Bill 2011
- Customs Amendment (Anti-dumping Improvements) Bill 2011
- Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
- Horse Disease Response Levy Bill 2011
- Horse Disease Response Levy Collection Bill 2011
- Horse Disease Response Levy (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011
- Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment (Inventory) Bill 2011
- Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Early Release of Superannuation) Bill 2011
- Excise Tariff Amendment (Condensate) Bill 2011
- Excise Legislation Amendment (Condensate) Bill 2011
- Australian Energy Market Amendment (National Energy Retail Law) Bill 2011
- Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011
- Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Amendment Bill 2011
- Offshore Petroleum (Royalty) Amendment Bill 2011
- Offshore Resources Legislation Amendment (Personal Property Securities) Bill 2011
- Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Regulatory Levies Legislation Amendment (2011 Measures No. 2) Bill 2011
- Customs Amendment (New Zealand Rules of Origin) Bill 2011
- Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment Bill 2011
- Customs Amendment (New Zealand Rules of Origin) Bill 2011
- National Health Reform Amendment (National Health Performance Authority) Bill 2011
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
- Mudgeeraba Agricultural Show
- Throsby Electorate: Emergency Service Workers
- Hendra Virus
- Parsons, Air Commodore Keith
- National Schools Chaplaincy Program
- My First Speech Competition for Young Australia
- Live Animal Exports
- Kids of Macarthur Health Foundation
- Carbon Pricing
- MINISTERIAL ARRANGEMENTS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- DISTINGUISHED VISITORS
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Irons, Steve, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Fitzgibbon, Joel, MP, Ferguson, Martin, MP)
(Buchholz, Scott, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
Live Animal Exports
(Windsor, Tony, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Ripoll, Bernie, MP, O'Connor, Brendan, MP)
(Hockey, Joe, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
Tobacco Plain Packaging
(Melham, Daryl, MP, Roxon, Nicola, MP)
(Marino, Nola, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(D'Ath, Yvette, MP, Combet, Greg, MP)
(Robb, Andrew, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(Owens, Julie, MP, Garrett, Peter, MP)
(Roy, Wyatt, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(Lyons, Geoff, MP, Macklin, Jenny, MP)
(Baldwin, Bob, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Gibbons, Steve, MP, Butler, Mark, MP)
- Carbon Pricing
- MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
- PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
- Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2011
- Competition and Consumer Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
- Slipper, Peter, MP
- International Development Assistance
- Holt Electorate
- Australasian Order of Old Bastards
- Southern Sudan
- Carbon Pricing
- Green, Mr Trevor, Amedee, Mr Gary, Economy
- Sri Lanka
- Cunningham Electorate: Mining
- Vietnam: Montagnards
- Petition: Medical Workforce, Petition: Carbon Pricing and Murray-Darling River System
- Bradfield Electorate: Foreign Investment
- Egypt: Coptic Christians, Chifley Electorate: Health and Wellbeing
- Start of Business
- The Lord's Prayer
- Deakin Electorate: Rangeview Primary School
- Small Business
- Refugee Week
- Hughes Electorate: Carbon Pricing
- Tasmanian Government
- Private Health Insurance
- Foreign Investment
- Medical Research
- Kingsford Smith Electorate: Kensington Post Office
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Committee
- Cyber-Safety Committee
- Law Enforcement Committee
- Health and Ageing Committee
- Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee
- Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee
- Christmas Island Tragedy Committee
- Regional Australia Committee
QUESTIONS IN WRITING
Ministers: Staff, Capital Works and Acquisitions (Question No. 244)
(Briggs, Jamie, MP, Albanese, Anthony, MP)
Taxation (Question No. 350)
(Baldwin, Bob, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
Bruce Highway (Question No. 387)
(Christensen, George, MP, Albanese, Anthony, MP)
National Police Service Medal (Question No. 407)
(Christensen, George, MP, O'Connor, Brendan, MP)
- Ministers: Staff, Capital Works and Acquisitions (Question No. 244)
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Mr MARTIN FERGUSON (Batman—Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism) (11:23): Obviously I will make some closing comments on each of the offshore petroleum bills before the House and then I will deal with each of them in terms of potential amendments.
The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage and Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011 amends the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act to ensure Australia's offshore regulatory regime is robust by reducing unnecessary burden on industry without compromising safety, the environment or resource management. The bill expands the functions of the Australian National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority, which becomes the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority. This bill also significantly streamlines the administration of offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage titles by establishing the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator.
These amendments go beyond just delivering the Australian government's response to the Productivity Commission's recommendation for the establishment of a national offshore petroleum regulator for Commonwealth waters. Integrating the views gathered from extensive stakeholder consultation over the last 15 months and recognising the outcomes of the Montara Commission of Inquiry report, the Australian government is delivering on its commitment to restoring the Australian community's confidence in the regulation of the offshore petroleum industry. These amendments will help ensure that our regulatory regime and operating standards are the best and safest in the world. These reforms will replace the current inefficient system of seven designated authorities with a national integrated regulatory system, ensuring consistency, efficiency and transparency in Commonwealth waters. Retaining the joint authorities for the Commonwealth minister and the relevant state and territory ministers guarantees that each jurisdiction continues to have a role in decision making on key petroleum titles in Commonwealth waters that could be adjacent to a state or the Northern Territory.
The offshore oil and gas industry is vital to sustaining our country's economic prosperity and security. These reforms streamline Australia's regulatory system, bolstering the nation's position as a world leader in offshore oil and gas regulation. The reforms in this bill, together with other complementary bills, will help deliver on the Australian government's commitment to ensuring the Australian community's confidence in the regulation of offshore petroleum and reinforce our competitive advantage as a preferred location for investment.
I thank all members for their constructive contribution to what is a complex debate. I will deal with a range of issues raised by members and turn first to the contribution of the member for Groom, the former minister for resources, who had responsibility for this very complex industry. During the course of his contribution he expressed disappointment that the government was proceeding with the bill in the absence of a concluded agreement with the Western Australian government concerning collocation of federal and Western Australian offshore petroleum regulators. In reply, I can simply say the Commonwealth has negotiated in good faith with the state of Western Australia on this proposal.
On behalf of the Commonwealth I have signed a memorandum of understanding detailing the proposed arrangements, which I stand by, agreed by officials from within the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum, my department and the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority. I give my commitment to continue to discuss the matter with the Western Australian minister in the hope that he comes to recognise that the legislative regime for the offshore industry proposed by these bills not only is in the best interests of Australia as a whole but is very much in the interests of Western Australia.
It is the government's very firm belief that by locating the headquarters and most operations of NOPSEMA and NOPTA in Perth we are reinforcing the importance of Perth in the world's oil and gas industry. It is also the government's ambition that, because these two regulators will be well resourced and so be able to attract quality staff in what is a high-paying industry, they will be recognised as among the best regulators for this industry in the world, further reinforcing Western Australia's importance in this global industry. In many ways this industry represents a wonderful career opportunity for young Australians.
I must say that negotiation cannot be open ended, and it is critical, given the experience of Montara, that the Commonwealth ensures that it is able to properly regulate oil exploration and production for those waters over which it has exclusive jurisdiction as the Commonwealth. The changes we are proposing are not a question of states' rights being denied but rather of the Commonwealth finally accepting its proper responsibilities in relation to waters over which it has exclusive jurisdiction. Delegating those responsibilities to third parties is no longer a tenable position for the Commonwealth of Australia.
The member for Swan made reference to the Western Australian government not collecting North West Shelf revenues. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry, chaired by the member for Lyons, recommended that this function be retained by the state of Western Australia. The Commonwealth accepts the committee's recommendation and I will be moving appropriate amendments to reflect that. The members for Forrest and Swan both incorrectly stated that under these bills the Commonwealth will not have to notify the state of the award of title in Commonwealth waters offshore of Western Australia. In fact the bill does not change current arrangements in this regard. As is presently the case, titles will be awarded by the joint authority of which the state minister is a member. The Western Australian minister will be aware of titles in Commonwealth waters offshore of Western Australia because he or she will participate in their granting. This point illustrates the extent to which I have gone to accommodate Western Australian concerns, and not just in relation to this issue, without compromising the essential aim of improving our national offshore regulatory regime.
The honourable member for Forrest was quite right in asserting that this legislation would have the greatest impact on Western Australia, but she was incorrect to imply that this would be a negative impact. I suggest it will be quite the opposite, and not just for the reasons I have already outlined. It is Western Australia that will benefit the most from the increased community confidence that will flow from the improved regulation of Australia's offshore oil and gas industry that this bill will bring about. It goes to our notion of the social licence to operate in a very important economic area: the further development of our petroleum industry.
Without these reforms it will be difficult to see how this industry will achieve its full potential with full public confidence. It is this legislation that secures the industry's long-term future by ensuring that the community's high expectation of environmental and other standards are properly met. It is about ensuring that we meet them in a way in which Australians, wherever they live, can have full confidence, and that is why industry supports these reforms. It sees them as essential to its commercial future and regards them as essential for its social licence to operate in Australian waters.
It is this essential point that Western Australians seem to keep missing: all Australians, not just those who live in the West, have the same interest in ensuring that there are no more Montaras and that this industry is regulated in accordance with the world's best practice. That objective is shared by all members of this House, and appropriately so, and I thank them for their support for that objective.
In conclusion, I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the members of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry for their report on this legislation. I advise the House that it is the government's intention to accept the committee's recommendations. I also take this opportunity to thank members of the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, which recommended improvements to the bill that the government will also adopt. I repeat my thanks to honourable members for their contributions to this debate and I commend the bills the House.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.