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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2975


Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaMinister for Small Business) (18:16): I rise to sum up on the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Petroleum Pools and Other Measures) Bill 2016. I thank the member for Perth for his remarks. I thank the House for its commendation of this bill, but I do take some exception to the disparaging remarks made about the Western Australian Nationals leader, the member for Pilbara. At least Brendon Grylls has policies that he is putting forward to the electorate prior to the 11 March 2017 state poll in Western Australia, unlike Mark McGowan, the Labor leader, who has no vision, no plan and no policies to put on the table. At least the WA Nats are putting their measures out in front of the electorate for the electorate to decide on them—whether they like them and vote accordingly or whether they do not like them and vote accordingly.

The bill contains important amendments—I appreciate the member for Perth acknowledged that—to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. The principal amendments made by this bill will ensure the ongoing validity of the apportionment agreements under section 54 of the OPGGS Act if it becomes apparent that an agreement relates to an area which contains multiple petroleum pools rather than a single pool. An apportionment agreement provides for the apportionment of petroleum for revenue purposes between Commonwealth and state or territory jurisdictions where a petroleum resource straddles a jurisdictional boundary These amendments will provide certainty for petroleum titleholders to underpin investment decisions and revenue certainty for Commonwealth and state or territory governments. This is critical to the bill.

The bill underscores this government's ongoing commitment to investment in the offshore petroleum sector. It is critical that the appropriate legislative and regulatory frame works are in place, and the amendments made by this bill will provide a level of certainty to support these significant and long-lived investments, which characterise Australia's oil and gas sector—a vital sector, I might add. The bill also amends the OPGGS Act to ensure there is a clear regulation making power to support regulations which provide for the refund and remittal of environmental plan levies and safety case levies in certain circumstances. The power to make regulations for the refund and remittal of levies is important to ensure the application of levies to titleholders and appropriate cost-recovery for the offshore petroleum regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority. With that, I commend this bill to the house.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.