Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Issues relating to the Fuel and Energy Industry
Senate committee
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Issues relating to the Fuel and Energy Industry

CHAIR (Senator Cormann) —I declare open this public hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Fuel and Energy. The Senate has referred to the committee matters associated with fuel and energy, including the price of fuel, regulation and taxation arrangements, and alternative fuels. The committee is due to provide its final report to the Senate on 21 October 2009. Today the committee is focusing on energy and fuel security, in particular to the terms of reference relating to:

e. the existing set of federal and state government regulatory powers as they relate to fuel and energy products;

f. taxation arrangements on fuel and energy products …

g. the role of alternative sources of energy to coal and alternative fuels to petroleum and diesel …

h. domestic energy supply and the domestic oil/gas exploration and refinement industry …

Before the committee starts taking evidence I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

The committee prefers all evidence to be given in public, but under the Senate’s resolutions witnesses have the right to request to be heard in private session. It is important that witnesses give the committee notice if they intend to ask to give evidence in camera. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course also be made at any other time. Finally, on behalf of the committee, I thank all those who have made submissions and sent representatives here today for their cooperation in this inquiry.

[9.00 am]