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Thursday, 23 June 2005
Page: 20

Mr ENTSCH (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources) (10:17 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The act proposed to be created by this bill is consequential on the repeal of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Fees) Act 1994 and is its replacement in line with the package of bills achieving the rewrite of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 and incorporated acts.

This bill sets out the annual fees payable in relation to exploration permits, retention leases and production, infrastructure and pipeline licences. The proposed Offshore Petroleum Act involves a large number of decisions relating to the day-to-day administration of the act, including the management of titles.

The proposed Offshore Petroleum (Annual Fees) Act provides that the holders of permits, leases and licences must pay a fee to help recover the costs of administration. The fee amounts will be specified in regulations.

The bill will have no net financial implications as it introduces no policy changes. As it is impossible to predict the number of new or surrendered titles each year, it would be difficult to estimate the amount likely to be received under these fees in any one year.

Furthermore, the Offshore Petroleum Bill provides for amounts equal to annual fee amounts received by the Commonwealth to be paid to the relevant state or the Northern Territory. This is because the administration is carried on by state and Northern Territory governments on behalf of the Australian government.

I commend the bill to honourable members and present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Mr Gavan O’Connor) adjourned.