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Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [No. 2]

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7511

2013-2014

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [No. 2]

 

 

(1)     Schedule 2, heading, page 71 (lines 1 and 2), omit “ Price exploitation in relation to the carbon tax repeal ”, substitute “ Carbon tax price reduction obligation ”.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(2)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 71 (lines 13 and 14), omit “ Price exploitation in relation to the carbon tax repeal ”, substitute “ Carbon tax price reduction obligation ”.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(3)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 71 (after line 24), after the third dot-point in section 60, insert:

•      A corporation may be required to explain and substantiate:

       (a)     how the carbon tax repeal has affected, or is affecting, the corporation’s regulated supply input costs; and

      (b)     how reductions in the corporation’s regulated supply input costs that are directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal are reflected in the prices charged by the corporation for regulated supplies.

•      A corporation that sells electricity or natural gas to domestic customers must:

       (a)     give a carbon tax removal substantiation statement to the Commission; and

      (b)     include in the statement the corporation’s estimate, on an average annual percentage price basis, or an average annual dollar price basis, of the corporation’s cost savings that have been, are, or will be, attributable to the carbon tax repeal and that have been, are being, or will be, passed on to domestic customers during the financial year that began on 1 July 2014; and

       (c)     provide information with the statement that substantiates such an estimate; and

      (d)     communicate to domestic customers a statement that identifies, on an average annual percentage price basis, or an average annual dollar price basis, the estimated cost savings to domestic customers that are for the financial year that began on 1 July 2014.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(4)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 72 (line 1), after “for”, insert “certain”.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(5)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 72 (after line 2), after section 60, insert:

60AA   Objects etc.

             (1)  The main objects of this Part are:

                     (a)  to deter price exploitation in relation to the carbon tax repeal at each point in the supply chain for regulated goods; and

                     (b)  to ensure that all cost savings attributable to the carbon tax repeal are passed through the supply chain for regulated goods.

             (2)  The intention of the Parliament in enacting this Part is to ensure that all cost savings attributable to the carbon tax repeal are passed on to consumers of regulated goods through lower prices.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(6)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 72 (before line 5), before the definition of carbon charge component in section 60A, insert:

applicable compliance period , for a carbon tax removal substantiation notice, has the meaning given by subsection 60FC(2).

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(7)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 72 (after line 9), after the definition of carbon charge component in section 60A, insert:

carbon tax removal substantiation notice has the meaning given by subsection 60FA(3).

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(8)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 72 (before line 10), before the definition of carbon tax repeal in section 60A, insert:

carbon tax removal substantiation statement has the meaning given by subsection 60FD(3).

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(9)     Schedule 2, item 3, page 73 (after line 34), after the definition of carbon tax scheme in section 60A, insert:

domestic electricity customer means an individual who purchases electricity wholly or principally for personal, domestic or household use at premises.

domestic natural gas customer means an individual who purchases natural gas wholly or principally for personal, domestic or household use at premises.

electricity retailer means:

                     (a)  a person who:

                              (i)  is a retailer within the meaning of the National Energy Retail Law as it applies in a State or a Territory; and

                             (ii)  sells electricity to domestic electricity customers; or

                     (b)  a person who is a retailer within the meaning of the Electricity Industry Act 2000 (Vic.); or

                     (c)  a person who is a retail entity within the meaning of the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld); or

                     (d)  a person who:

                              (i)  holds a retail licence within the meaning of the Electricity Industry Act 2004 (WA); or

                             (ii)  holds an integrated regional licence within the meaning of the Electricity Industry Act 2004 (WA) that authorises the person to sell electricity; or

                     (e)  a person who is an electricity entity within the meaning of the Electricity Reform Act (NT) and whose licence under that Act authorises the person to sell electricity.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(10)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 74 (after line 6), after the definition of listed corporation in section 60A, insert:

National Energy Retail Law means the National Energy Retail Law set out in the Schedule to the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011 (SA).

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(11)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 74 (after line 9), after the definition of natural gas in section 60A, insert:

natural gas retailer means:

                     (a)  a person who:

                              (i)  is a retailer within the meaning of the National Energy Retail Law as it applies in a State or a Territory; and

                             (ii)  sells natural gasto domestic natural gas customers; or

                     (b)  a person who is a gas retailer within the meaning of the Gas Industry Act 2001 (Vic.); or

                     (c)  a person who is a retailer within the meaning of the Gas Supply Act 2003 (Qld); or

                     (d)  a person who holds a trading licence under the Energy Coordination Act 1994 (WA); or

                     (e)  a person who holds a licence under the Gas Act 2000 (Tas.) to sell gas by retail.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(12)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 74 (after line 18), after the definition of regulated supply in section 60A, insert:

regulated supply input costs of a corporation means the corporation’s input costs in relation to the making by the corporation of regulated supplies.

Royal Assent day means the day on which the Act that inserted this Part receives the Royal Assent.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(13)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 75 (lines 3 and 4), omit “ Price exploitation in relation to the carbon tax repeal ”, substitute “ Carbon tax price reduction obligation ”.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(14)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 75 (lines 11 to 17), omit paragraphs 60C(2)(b) and (c), substitute:

                     (b)  the price for the supply does not pass through all of the corporation’s cost savings relating to the supply that are directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(15)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 75 (after line 17), at the end of section 60C, add:

             (3)  For the purposes of this Part, in determining whether the price for a supply made by a corporation does not pass through all of the corporation’s cost savings relating to the supply that are directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal, have regard to the following matters:

                     (a)  the corporation’s cost savings that are directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal;

                     (b)  how the cost savings mentioned in paragraph (a) can reasonably be attributed to the different supplies that the corporation makes;

                     (c)  the corporation’s costs;

                     (d)  any other relevant matter that may reasonably influence the price.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(16)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 75 (line 29) to page 76 (line 2), omit paragraph 60D(2)(c), substitute:

                     (c)  state that, in the Commission’s opinion, the price for the supply did not pass through all of the corporation’s cost savings relating to the supply that were directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(17)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 76 (lines 9 to 13), omit all the words from and including “the notice” to and including “60C(2)(c).”, substitute:

the notice is prima facie evidence that the price for the supply did not pass through all of the corporation’s cost savings relating to the supply that were directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(18)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 77 (after line 28), after Division 2, insert:

Division 2A Carbon tax removal substantiation notices

60FA   Carbon tax removal substantiation notices

Scope

             (1)  This section applies to a corporation if the corporation has made, or is making, one or more regulated supplies.

Carbon tax removal substantiation notice

             (2)  The Commission may, by written notice given to the corporation, require the corporation:

                     (a)  to give to the Commission, within the period specified in the notice, a written statement that explains:

                              (i)  how the carbon tax repeal has affected, or is affecting, the corporation’s regulated supply input costs; and

                             (ii)  how reductions in the corporation’s regulated supply input costs that are directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal are reflected in the prices charged by the corporation for regulated supplies; and

                     (b)  to do either or both of the following:

                              (i)  give to the Commission, within the period and in the manner and form specified in the notice, information that substantiates the explanation set out in the statement;

                             (ii)  produce to the Commission, within the period and in the manner specified in the notice, documents that substantiate the explanation set out in the statement.

             (3)  A notice under subsection (2) is to be known as a carbon tax removal substantiation notice .

             (4)  A period specified in a carbon tax removal substantiation notice must be 21 days after the notice is given.

             (5)  A carbon tax removal substantiation notice must explain the effect of:

                     (a)  section 60FB; and

                     (b)  section 60FC; and

                     (c)  sections 137.1 and 137.2 of the Criminal Code .

Section does not limit section 60H

             (6)  This section does not limit section 60H (which is about the price-related information-gathering powers of the Commission).

Section does not limit section 155

             (7)  This section does not limit section 155 (which is about the general information-gathering powers of the Commission).

60FB   Extending periods for complying with carbon tax removal substantiation notices

             (1)  A corporation that has been given a carbon tax removal substantiation notice may, at any time within 21 days after the notice was given to the corporation by the Commission, apply in writing to the Commission for an extension of the period for complying with the notice.

             (2)  The Commission may, by written notice given to the corporation, extend the period within which the corporation must comply with the notice.

60FC   Compliance with carbon tax removal substantiation notices

             (1)  A corporation that is given a carbon tax removal substantiation notice must comply with it within the applicable compliance period for the notice.

             (2)  The applicable compliance period for a carbon tax removal substantiation notice is:

                     (a)  the period of 21 days specified in the notice; or

                     (b)  if the period for complying with the notice has been extended under section 60FB—the period as so extended;

and includes (if an application has been made under section 60FB for an extension of the period for complying with the notice) the period up until the time when the applicant is given notice of the Commission’s decision on the application.

             (3)  A corporation commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the corporation is subject to a requirement under subsection (1); and

                     (b)  the corporation is capable of complying with the requirement; and

                     (c)  the corporation omits to do an act; and

                     (d)  the omission breaches the requirement.

Penalty:  100 penalty units.

             (4)  Subsection (3) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (5)  If subsection (3) of this section applies to an individual because of subsection 6(2), subsection (3) of this section has effect, in relation to the individual, as if the reference to 100 penalty units were a reference to 20 penalty units.

             (6)  If subsection (1) of this section applies to an individual because of subsection 6(2), the individual is excused from giving information or producing a document in accordance with a carbon tax removal substantiation notice on the ground that the information or the production of the document might tend to incriminate the individual or expose the individual to a penalty.

Division 2B Carbon tax removal substantiation statements

60FD   Carbon tax removal substantiation statements

Scope

             (1)  This section applies to a corporation if the corporation:

                     (a)  is an electricity retailer that sells electricity to domestic electricity customers; or

                     (b)  is a natural gas retailer that sells natural gas to domestic natural gas customers.

Carbon tax removal substantiation statement

             (2)  Within 60 days after the Royal Assent day, the corporation must give to the Commission:

                     (a)  a written statement that sets out:

                              (i)  if the corporation has domestic electricity customers—the corporation’s estimate, on an average annual percentage price basis, or an average annual dollar price basis, of the corporation’s cost savings that have been, are, or will be, directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal and that have been, are being, or will be, passed on to domestic electricity customers during the financial year that began on 1 July 2014; and

                             (ii)  if the corporation has domestic natural gas customers—the corporation’s estimate, on an average annual percentage price basis, or an average annual dollar price basis, of the corporation’s cost savings that have been, are, or will be, directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal and that have been, are being, or will be, passed on to domestic natural gas customers during the financial year that began on 1 July 2014; and

                     (b)  information that substantiates the estimate or estimates set out in the statement.

Note:          Section 137.1 of the Criminal Code creates an offence of providing false or misleading information.

             (3)  A statement under paragraph (2)(a) is to be known as a carbon tax removal substantiation statement .

             (4)  If the corporation has given a carbon tax removal substantiation statement to the Commission, the corporation must ensure that a copy of the statement is available on the corporation’s website, in a way that is readily accessible by the public, until the end of 30 June 2015.

Compliance

             (5)  A corporation commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the corporation is subject to a requirement under subsection (2) or (4); and

                     (b)  the corporation is capable of complying with the requirement; and

                     (c)  the corporation omits to do an act; and

                     (d)  the omission breaches the requirement.

Penalty:  100 penalty units.

             (6)  Subsection (5) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (7)  If subsection (5) of this section applies to an individual because of subsection 6(2), subsection (5) of this section has effect, in relation to the individual, as if the reference to 100 penalty units were a reference to 20 penalty units.

             (8)  If subsection (2) of this section applies to an individual because of subsection 6(2), the individual is excused from giving an estimate or information under subsection (2) of this section on the ground that the estimate or information might tend to incriminate the individual or expose the individual to a penalty.

Section does not limit section 60H

             (9)  This section does not limit section 60H (which is about the price-related information-gathering powers of the Commission).

Section does not limit section 155

           (10)  This section does not limit section 155 (which is about the general information-gathering powers of the Commission).

Division 2C Statements for domestic customers

60FE   Statements for domestic customers

Scope

             (1)  This section applies to a corporation if the corporation:

                     (a)  is an electricity retailer that sells electricity to domestic electricity customers; or

                     (b)  is a natural gas retailer that sells natural gas to domestic natural gas customers.

Preparation of statement

             (2)  Within 90 days after the Royal Assent day, the corporation must prepare a statement that:

                     (a)  if the corporation has domestic electricity customers—identifies, on an average annual percentage price basis, or an average annual dollar price basis, the estimated cost savings, to domestic electricity customers, that:

                              (i)  have been, are, or will be, directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal; and

                             (ii)  are for the financial year that began on 1 July 2014; and

                     (b)  if the corporation has domestic natural gas customers—identifies, on an average annual percentage price basis, or an average annual dollar price basis, the estimated cost savings, to domestic natural gas customers, that:

                              (i)  have been, are, or will be, directly or indirectly attributable to the carbon tax repeal; and

                             (ii)  are for the financial year that began on 1 July 2014.

Communication of contents of statement to domestic customers

             (3)  During the period:

                     (a)  beginning 90 days after the Royal Assent day; and

                     (b)  ending at the end of 31 December 2014;

the corporation must ensure that the contents of the statement prepared by it under subsection (2) is communicated to:

                     (c)  if the corporation has domestic electricity customers—each of those customers; and

                     (d)  if the corporation has domestic natural gas customers—each of those customers.

Note:          Section 137.1 of the Criminal Code creates an offence of providing false or misleading information.

Compliance

             (4)  A corporation commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the corporation is subject to a requirement under subsection (2) or (3); and

                     (b)  the corporation is capable of complying with the requirement; and

                     (c)  the corporation omits to do an act; and

                     (d)  the omission breaches the requirement.

Penalty:  100 penalty units.

             (5)  Subsection (4) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

             (6)  If subsection (4) of this section applies to an individual because of subsection 6(2), subsection (4) of this section has effect, in relation to the individual, as if the reference to 100 penalty units were a reference to 20 penalty units.

             (7)  If subsection (2) or (3) of this section applies to an individual because of subsection 6(2), the individual is excused from:

                     (a)  preparing a statement under subsection (2) of this section; or

                     (b)  communicating the contents of a statement under subsection (3) of this section;

on the ground that the information in the statement might tend to incriminate the individual or expose the individual to a penalty.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(19)   Schedule 2, item 3, page 81 (after line 21), after subsection 60H(5), insert:

Section does not limit section 60FA

          (5A)  This section does not limit section 60FA (which is about carbon tax removal substantiation notices).

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]

(20)   Schedule 2, item 25, page 90 (line 24), omit “section”, substitute “paragraph 60FD(2)(b) or section 60FA or”.

[carbon tax price reduction obligation]