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Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Page: 4630


Senator Cormann asked the Minister for Climate Change and Water, upon notice, on 25 May 2009:

(1) (a)   Since November 2007, which peak industry associations representing the gold industry have met the Minister, her office or the department to discuss the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme; and (b) for each meeting, on what date was the meeting held and who were the attendees.

(2)   Has the Minister, her office or the department met with the Gold Forum, established by the Minerals Council of Australia, to discuss the emissions-intensive trade-exposed definitions under the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme; if so, for each meeting, on what date was the meeting held and who were the attendees.

(3)   When will the department commence the gold industry activity definitions workshop (ADW) in relation to sectoral activities definition under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

(4)   How did the Minister determine priorities when scheduling ADW’s.

(5)   Given the gold industry’s place as Australia’s third largest export earner for the 2008-09 financial year, did the Minister take into account the relative value of industry when failing to prioritise for an ADW.


Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   I have met with representatives of the minerals industry on several occasions. Meetings with industry are conducted with the expectation that the privacy of the meeting will be respected. My office and the Department of Climate Change have met with representatives of the gold industry to discuss the eligibility of gold mining for emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) assistance under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). On 10 November 2008, the Secretary of the Department of Climate Change, Dr Martin Parkinson, and the First Assistant Secretary, Mr Barry Sterland, met with Mr Mitch Hooke from the MCA to discuss the proposed CPRS as outlined in the Government’s Green Paper. On 25 November 2008, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Climate Change, Mr Blair Comley, met with Mr Brendan Pearson and Mr Stephen Deady from the MCA to discuss the MCA’s proposed approach to emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) assistance.

(2)   On 2 September 2008, the Department of Climate Change (the Department) held a workshop with Australian non-ferrous metal producers, including Mr Brendan Pearson from the Minerals Council of Australia and Mr Graham Ehm and Mr Mike LeRoy from AngloGold Ashanti, to discuss the proposed approach for identifying EITE activities and key data being sought by the Department. On 27 February 2009, the Department held a teleconference with the Gold Forum to discuss data requirements for the preliminary EITE assessment process and to gain an understanding of the potential activity of gold mining and processing. Attendees from the Gold Forum included Mr Mike LeRoy from AngloGold Ashanti, Mr Phil Duce from Barrick Gold of Australia, Mr Greg Morris from Newcrest Mining, Mr Bryan Williams from Newmont Asia Pacific, Mr Jeff Waddington from St Barbara, and Mr Mark Zeptner from Goldfields Australia.

(3)   The Government is committed to ensuring that regulations in relation to the EITE assistance program are made by 1 July 2010. To achieve this goal, tranches of draft regulations will be released in the intervening period. This is important to provide investment certainty to industry in the lead up to the commencement of the CPRS on 1 July 2011. The Department is continuing to work closely with stakeholders to determine the activities that will be eligible for EITE assistance and included in the regulations. The Department is continuing to work through activities that were initially listed in the Guidance Paper as potentially eligible EITE activities and activities that have been brought forward in the preliminary assessment process. The Department is currently analysing the data submitted by the gold industry for the purpose of the preliminary assessment of the proposed activity of gold mining and processing. On the completion of this analysis, the Department will make a recommendation to the industry as to whether the activity of gold mining and processing demonstrates the potential to be eligible for EITE assistance. Following this recommendation, if the industry decides to proceed to a formal assessment, a workshop will be scheduled to develop an activity definition.

(4)   In the CPRS Green Paper, the Government requested information from entities pertaining to the emissions intensities of parts of their production processes. The Government examined these data carefully during the latter half of 2008 and, in some cases assessed that it was very likely that certain activities demonstrated the potential to meet the EITE eligibility criteria. The production processes the Government believed were likely to be activities eligible for EITE assistance were listed in the Guidance Paper: Assessment of activities for the purpose of the emissions-intensive trade-exposed assistance program. The Department has conducted workshops for all listed activities in the weeks following the release of the Guidance Paper. Entities conducting production processes that were not listed in the Guidance Paper, who wish to have their activities considered for EITE assistance, may request a preliminary assessment. The Department will conduct workshops for activities that are advised of the outcome of their preliminary assessment and decide to proceed to formal assessment.

(5)   The Government received useful emissions and production data from many industries following the release of the Green Paper. Industries that provided comprehensive and transparent data demonstrating clear potential to be eligible for EITE assistance were listed as priorities for assessment in the Guidance Paper. All other activities are required to undertake a preliminary assessment. The preliminary assessment process is designed to avoid entities expending resources unnecessarily on the rigorous formal assessment process if they are unlikely to be conducting activities that will meet the eligibility criteria for EITE assistance. As indicated in question three above, the EITE assessment process is being conducted to meet the Government’s commitment to ensuring regulations are made by 1 July 2010.