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Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Bill 2012

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2010-2011-2012

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

COASTAL TRADING (REVITALISING AUSTRALIAN SHIPPING) BILL 2012

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

Amendments Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport,

the Honourable Anthony Albanese, MP)

 

 

COASTAL TRADING (REVITALISING AUSTRALIAN SHIPPING) BILL 2012

OUTLINE

The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Bill 2012 (the Bill) provides for the regulatory framework for access by vessels to coastal trading in Australia.  It replaces the regulatory arrangements set out in Part VI of the Navigation Act 1912 (Navigation Act).  Part VI of the Navigation Act will be repealed by the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2012.

 

The Bill was referred to two Parliamentary Committee inquiries - one by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications and one by the Senate Standing Economics Legislation Committee.  The House of Representatives Committee delivered its report on 24 May 2012.

 

The amendments to the Bill are in response to issues raised by stakeholders through the Parliamentary inquiries, as well as addressing other minor and technical matters to correct inadvertent mistakes, provide consistency between related legislation and rectify unintended consequences.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

There will be no impact on Commonwealth expenditure from this Bill.







 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 6 - Definitions

 

Energy security situation - An energy security situation is defined. Subclause 6(1A) provides when an ‘energy security situation’ exists.  When an energy security situation exists, the holder of a temporary licence may apply for a variation of the licence and such application will be decided within 24 hours.

 

Liquid fuel product - Liquid fuel product is any of the following:

·          biodiesel - within the meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition of this term in the Energy Grants (Cleaner Fuels) Scheme Act 2004 ;

·          liquid fuel - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 ;

·          liquid petrochemical - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 ;

·          liquid petroleum - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 ;

·          liquid petroleum product - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 ;

·          petrochemical - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 ;

·          petroleum - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 ;

·          petroleum product - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 ;

·          refined liquid petroleum product - within the meaning of the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984.

A holder of a temporary licence which uses a vessel used to carry any of the above products and operating under a temporary licence is eligible to make an application for an energy security variation which would be decided urgently within 24 hours.

 

Owner - The definition of owner is amended so that an owner of a vessel means one or more of the following:

(a)     a person who has a legal or beneficial interest in the vessel, other than as a mortgagee;

(b)    a person with overall general control and management of the vessel;

(c)     a person who has assumed responsibility for the vessel from a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

 

A master or pilot of the vessel will not be taken to have overall general control and management of the vessel for purposes of paragraph (b) and (c) merely because of being a master or pilot.

 

Clause 28 - Application for temporary licence

 

Paragraph 2(ea) is inserted in clause 28 to provide that the applicant must provide the name of the vessel if the vessel is known at the time of application.  This requirement ties-in with the criterion in clause 34 about an application relating to cargo and a vessel registered in the Australian International Shipping Register, which are both owned by the applicant.  In order for the applicant to have the benefit of this consideration, it would be necessary for the applicant to identify the vessel to be used and indicate that it is registered in the Australian International Shipping Register.

 

 

 

 

Clause 34 - Minister to decide applications

 

Clause 34 provides for the decision of the Minister on an application for a temporary licence which is either to grant or refuse such application.  It also provides for the matters which the Minister would have regard to in deciding the application. 

 

Paragraph 34(2)(ba) is inserted so that the Minister may also have regard to whether the applicant is moving its own cargo using a vessel registered in the Australian International Shipping Register which the applicant owns.

 

Paragraph 34(3)(c) is amended so that in deciding whether to grant a temporary licence where a holder of a general licence nominated for a voyage specified in the temporary licence application, the Minister must have regard to whether the vessels of the general licence holder could carry the passengers or cargo on the expected loading dates (as specified in the temporary licence application) or within five days before or after such loading date.

 

Clause 40 - Conditions imposed on all temporary licences

 

Clause 40 provides for conditions of a temporary licence.  One of these conditions is that the holder of the licence must comply with what is authorised by the licence as specified in the licence itself.

 

Clause 40 is amended to effectively provide that if a voyage authorised by a temporary licence is not going to be undertaken, the holder of the licence must inform the Secretary (or delegate) of that fact and reasons.  It would not be necessary for the holder of the licence to seek a variation of the licence.  If the voyage authorised was not undertaken and the licence holder has informed the Secretary (or delegate) of that fact and reasons, there is no breach of the conditions of the licence for not undertaking the voyage.

 

Clause 43 - Application to vary matters authorised by temporary licence

 

The amendment to clause 43 effectively provides that if a voyage authorised was not undertaken and the licence holder has informed the Secretary (or delegate) of that fact and reasons, there is no need to seek a variation of the licence.

 

Paragraph 43(2)(ba) is inserted to provide that if the application (for variation) relates to an energy security situation, the application must be accompanied by a statutory declaration giving details of the special circumstances which justify the expedited variation.

 

Subclause 43(3) is also inserted to provide that an application relating to an energy security situation may be given at any time after complying with a voyage notification requirement under clause 61.  This means that an energy security variation may be made even if the vessel has been loaded or has commenced the voyage.

 

In relation to other cases (that is, other than an energy security variation), an application for variation for matters authorised by a temporary licence may be given only before a voyage notification under clause 61 has been complied with.  This means that once a voyage notification has been given, no variation for that particular voyage may be made.

 

 

Clause 45 - Consultation on proposed variation

 

Clause 45 provides that a holder of a general licence and relevant body of organisation must be informed of any application for a variation under clause 43 except for an energy security variation.  Because of the special circumstances which require immediate action by the holder of a temporary licence, an energy security situation will be processed quickly and urgently within 24 hours from the time of application.  This will enable carriers of liquid fuel product to respond to urgent situations where there is a threat to Australia’s energy security. 

 

Clause 46 - Minister to decide an application

 

Clause 46 is amended to provide that an application relating to an energy security situation will be decided within 24 hours of receiving the application.  All other types of variation application under Subdivision C will be decided within 2 business days after the day the application is made.

 

Clause 47A - Application taken to be granted in certain circumstances

 

If the Minister (or delegate) has not decided an application relating to an energy security situation at the end of the decision-making period specified in clause 46 (that is, 24 hours from receipt of the application), the application is taken to be granted and that the matters specified in the application are taken to be authorised by the licence.

 

Clause 61 - Voyage notification requirements for temporary licences

 

Clause 61 enumerates the matters which a holder of a temporary licence must include in a voyage notification to the Minister (or delegate).  This list is amended to include ‘the date of the voyage’.

 

Clause 72 - Conditions imposed on all emergency licences

 

A holder of an emergency licence is required to comply with the voyage notification requirements under clause 74A.

 

Clause 74A - Voyage notification requirements for emergency licences

 

The Bill as introduced failed to provide for a voyage notification requirement for a holder of an emergency licence.  Clause 74A is inserted to provide for this requirement.

 

Clause 75 - Reporting requirements for emergency licences

 

An emergency licence will be issued for a period not more than 30 days.  There is no limit to the number of voyages which may be undertaken under an emergency licence unless the Minister (or delegate) imposes a limit as a condition of the licence. 

 

The Bill as introduced required a holder of an emergency licence to report after every voyage is undertaken.  It is viewed that this requirement will be onerous. 

 

Clause 75 is amended to require a holder of an emergency licence to give a report only once, within 10 business days after the end of the period of validity of an emergency licence.