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Thursday, 30 August 2001
Page: 30618


Mr ENTSCH (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources) (10:03 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

The Excise Tariff Amendment (Crude Oil) Bill 2001 contains amendments to the Excise Tariff Act 1921.

On 15 August 2001, the government announced an overhaul of the Excise Tariff Act to encourage oil exploration and production, both onshore and offshore, perhaps leading to associated increased gas discoveries. The changes, which apply retrospectively from 1 July 2001, will streamline current legislation and reduce certain crude oil excise rates.

The changes arise from the government's response to concerns raised by industry groups that the high excise impost on old oilfields versus new discoveries discourages full commercialisation of those existing valuable resources.

These amendments will promote exploration, with a view to higher production levels of oil and gas. Ultimately, the consumer and Australia will benefit from efforts to meet future energy needs and enhance Australia's self-sufficiency in oil and gas.

Increased domestic gas production is an important alternative source of energy for Australian industry. New discoveries of gas, in particular, could underpin the government's efforts to promote a gas to liquids industry in Australia.

Full details of the measures in the bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

I commend the bill and present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Mr Griffin) adjourned.