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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 987


Mr EVANS (BrisbaneAssistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management) (10:10): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 as a consequence of related amendments to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. The amendments to the OPGGS Act will transfer regulatory oversight for offshore greenhouse gas storage well operations from the responsible Commonwealth minister to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, or NOPSEMA.

NOPSEMA operates on a fully cost-recovered basis through levies and fees payable by the offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage industries. This includes well related levies imposed in relation to petroleum titles. To ensure NOPSEMA can also recover the cost of its oversight of well operations under greenhouse gas titles, this bill will amend the levies act to extend the application of the well related levies to greenhouse gas wells.

This bill also amends the levies act as a consequence of amendments, which commenced on 1 January 2016, made to well related regulations under the OPGGS Act, or the Wells Regulations.

Prior to the amendments to the Wells Regulations, a new 'well operations management plan' was required to be submitted every five years. The amendments instead provided for a single plan to cover all stages of the life of a well and required revision of the plan every five years. Currently, under the levies act, well activity levies are only imposed on applications for acceptance of a new plan. To ensure NOPSEMA continues to be fully cost-recovered, this bill will amend the levies act to impose a well activity levy on submission of five-yearly revisions of plans.

The amendments to the Wells Regulations also removed the requirement for a titleholder to apply to NOPSEMA for approval to commence well activities. This bill removes well activity levies that relate to those applications.

The bill also makes technical amendments to the levies act to futureproof specific references in provisions of the levies act to regulations made under the OPGGS Act. The amendments are equivalent in purpose and effect to the amendments made to the OPGGS Act by the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2019.

Effective references to regulations are critical to the operation of a number of provisions of the levies act, including provisions which impose levies to fund the operations of NOPSEMA on a cost-recovery basis.

I commend this bill to the chamber.

Debate adjourned.