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Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety Levies) Amendment Bill 2010

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2010

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

OFFSHORE PETROLEUM AND GREENHOUSE GAS STORAGE (SAFETY LEVIES) AMENDMENT BILL 2010

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Resources and Energy,

the Honourable Martin Ferguson AM, MP)



OFFSHORE PETROLEUM AND GREENHOUSE GAS STORAGE (SAFETY LEVIES) AMENDMENT BILL 2010

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

The purpose of this Bill is to provide transitional arrangements from 1 January 2010 until 31 December 2012 in relation to section 8 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety Levies) Act 2003 (the Act) which imposes a safety case levy in relation to designated coastal waters.

 

The Act was amended by the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety Levies) Amendment Act 2009 (the Amendment Act), which came into force on 1 January 2010.  The Amendment Act removed references to the pipeline safety management plan levy.  The safety case levy was extended to cover pipelines.

 

Commonwealth offshore petroleum safety and pipeline regulations were amended along similar lines (with the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Safety on Offshore Facilities) Regulations 1996 being repealed and replaced with the Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations (subsequently renamed the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009), which also incorporated safety related aspects of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Pipelines) Regulations 2001 ) and also came into force on 1 January 2010 corresponding to the commencement of the amendments to the Act.

 

While the Amendment Act provided transitional arrangements, it did so on the basis the states and Northern Territory had agreed to amend their regulations (which correspond to, or mirror, the Commonwealth regulations), in line with Commonwealth amendments, for designated coastal waters.  These amendments have not yet occurred in all jurisdictions which means that some safety case levy payments for facilities (including pipelines) due to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority may not be collectable by the Authority. Thus a transitional period is required to give States and the Northern Territory sufficient time to implement corresponding amendments, and to enable the safety case levy to be collected under section 8 of the Act in the meantime.

 

The transitional arrangements provide that for the stated period (from 1 January 2010 until 31 December 2012) where a pipeline safety management plan is in force for a pipeline in designated coastal waters this is treated as if a safety case was in force. This will enable the Safety Authority to collect a safety case levy for regulation of pipelines in designated coastal waters.

 

The transitional arrangements also provide that, for the stated period, where the Safety Authority has approved a safety case for a facility in designated coastal waters under State or Territory regulations that substantially correspond to the now-repealed Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Safety on Offshore Facilities) Regulations 1996 (as they were in force immediately before the end of 31 December 2009),  then this safety case is treated as if it is in force under new regulations that mirror the new Commonwealth regulations.

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The Bill will not have any financial impact on the Australian Government Budget. There are no additional costs to industry.

 

REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

 

This Bill does not impose any new regulatory burden on the petroleum industry.

 



NOTES ON INDIVIDUAL CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

Sections 1 to 3 in the Bill will commence the day the Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Schedule 1 will commence retrospectively on 1 January 2010. 

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

This clause gives effect to the provisions in a Schedule to this Act.

 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Item 1 - Subsection 7(8) (definition of safety case in force in relation to a facility)

This item updates the subsection to refer to the new Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations 2009 instead of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Safety on Offshore Facilities) Regulations 1996 , which were repealed on 1 January 2010 when the Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations 2009 commenced.

 

The Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations 2009 have subsequently been renamed the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009 .  Under the operation of section 10 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 , the reference in the amended Act to the Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations 2009 may also be read as a reference to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009 .

 

Item 2 - After subsection 8(7)

This item adds a new subsection 7A setting out a transitional period starting on

1 January 2010 and ending on 31 December 2012 for when a pipeline safety management plan is in force in relation to a pipeline that is a facility.  Under this transitional provision the pipeline safety management plan in force is treated as if a safety case for the pipeline was in force.

 

This item also adds a new subsection 7B setting out a transitional period starting on

1 January 2010 and ending on 31 December 2012 for when a safety case is in force in relation to a facility in designated waters of a State or the Northern Territory. Such a safety case is within the meaning of the State or Territory regulations that correspond to the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Safety on Offshore Facilities) Regulations 1996 , as those last-mentioned regulations were in force immediately before the end of 31 December 2009. Under this transitional provision this safety case is treated as if it were in force under State or Territory regulations that correspond to the new Commonwealth Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009 .

 

This is to allow sufficient time for the amendment of State and Northern Territory regulations regulating designated coastal waters that correspond to, or mirror, Commonwealth safety and pipelines regulations.  The Commonwealth regulations were recently amended with effect from 1 January 2010.

 

The Act was recently amended by the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety Levies) Amendment Act 2009 (the Amendment Act), which received Royal Assent on 9 October 2009 with effect from 1 January 2010.  The Amendment Act removed references to the pipeline safety management plan levy.  The safety case levy was extended to cover pipelines.

 

Commonwealth offshore petroleum safety levies, safety and pipeline regulations were amended along similar lines and came into force on 1 January 2010 corresponding to the commencement of the amendments to the Act. The key changes in these regulation amendments were to remove the pipeline safety management plan from pipeline regulations and remove the pipeline safety management plan levy from safety levy regulations.  A safety case levy for pipelines replaced the pipeline safety management plan levy and the safety aspects of pipeline operations were removed from pipeline regulations and incorporated into safety regulations.

 

While the Amendment Act provided transitional arrangements, it did so on the basis that State and Territory regulations (which correspond to, or mirror, the Commonwealth regulations) would be similarly amended for designated coastal waters.  This has not yet occurred which means that some safety levy payments for facilities (including pipelines) due to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority may not be collectable by the Safety Authority. Thus a transitional period is required to give States and the Northern Territory sufficient time to implement corresponding amendments, and to enable the safety case levy to be collected under section 8 of the Act in the meantime.

 

The levy payments potentially affected are those for pipelines in designated coastal waters.  Thus a transitional period is required to give States and the Northern Territory sufficient time to implement corresponding amendments in regulations applicable to their designated coastal waters. 

 

This item and items 3 to 6 below are to commence from 1 January 2010 which corresponds to when amendments to the Act and Commonwealth regulations came into force.

 

Item 3 - Subsection 8(8)

This item insets a definition for a pipeline safety management plan in force in relation to a pipeline to help define the new transitional provision 8(7A).

 

Item 4 - Subsection 8(8) (definition of safety case in force in relation to a facility)

This item updates the subsection to refer to the new Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations 2009 instead of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) (Management of Safety on Offshore Facilities) Regulations 1996 , which were repealed on 1 January 2010 when the Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations 2009 commenced.

 

Item 5 - Application of amendment - subsection 7(8) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety Levies) Act 2003

This item states that the amendment made by item 1 only applies for safety cases in force on or after 1 January 2010.

 

Item 6 - Application of amendment - subsection 8(8) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety Levies) Act 2003

This item states that the amendment made by item 4 applies for safety cases in force on or after 1 January 2010.