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Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Page: 758

Mr IAN MACFARLANE (GroomMinister for Industry) (09:37): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Australian government recently announced the inclusion of cash bidding in the 2014 offshore exploration acreage release.

This additional method of exploration permit allocation in mature areas or those known to contain petroleum accumulations is intended to prevent over-exploration where none or little may be required, and ensure that the release of these areas continues to be equitable, economic and efficient.

To enable this I have introduced some amendments to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 to go some way towards optimisation of the cash bidding system.

The National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator performs an important function in Australia's offshore petroleum regulatory regime through assisting and advising the joint authority—and me as the responsible Commonwealth minister—on the award of titles as well as managing the ongoing titles administration function including keeping registers of titles and data and information management.

This bill consequently amends the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act (Regulatory Levies) 2003 to allow the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator to cost recover for its annual titles administration activities in relation to cash-bid petroleum exploration permits.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.