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Monday, 21 March 2011
Page: 2482

Mr ADAMS (6:48 PM) —The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Regulatory Levies Legislation Amendment (2011 Measures No. 1) Bill 2011 and the associated bill help to bring together the regulatory regime which has been put together along with all the other legislation which has taken several years. I have been pleased that during that time the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Primary Industry and Resources was able to bring down the report, Down under: greenhouse gas storage as a start for the minister’s legislation and we have moved on to where we are now.

These bills deal with the cost recovery of having a proper process by bringing titleholders and title areas into being to carry the cost for the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority. That authority’s role is to have the skill base to carry out the work to ensure that everything is done in the proper and correct way. To achieve that there are several different parts of these amendment bills. I understand there is some urgency to make sure that the resource management and administrative regulations commence in April this year, which is only a month away, so it is certainly appropriate that these bills are passed soon.

When we did the Down under report we found that the public need to feel reassured that there is a regime in place that they are comfortable with, that they have confidence in, and that they will give full support to. We are all aware that what occurred in the Gulf of Mexico a short time ago disrupted the lives of thousands, probably millions, of Americans and brought disruption to their economy in parts of the country.

This legislation introduces a cost-recovery mechanism. We need to have that to make sure that the right people are paying for safety. Safety does cost; regulations do cost. To have a proper regulatory regime in place will give us the right processes so that this industry continues to play a significant role in this country. I certainly support the bills.