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Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment (Regulations References) Bill 2018

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2016-2017-2018

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

OFFSHORE PETROLEUM AND GREENHOUSE GAS STORAGE (REGULATORY LEVIES) AMENDMENT (REGULATIONS REFERENCES) BILL 2018

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia,

Senator the Honourable Matthew Canavan)



OFFSHORE PETROLEUM AND GREENHOUSE GAS STORAGE (REGULATORY LEVIES) AMENDMENT (REGULATIONS REFERENCES) BILL 2018

 

OUTLINE

The purpose of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment (Regulations References) Bill 2018 (the Bill) is to amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 (the Levies Act) to future-proof references to regulations made under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the OPGGS Act) in provisions of the Levies Act. The amendments will avoid the need to amend the Levies Act any time regulations under the OPGGS Act sunset and are remade.

 

The Levies Act currently contains specific references to the titles of sets of regulations made under the OPGGS Act. However, when those regulations sunset and are remade with a new title, there is a risk that the references will become ineffective. Also, provisions in the regulations that are integral to the meaning and application of defined terms and requirements in the Levies Act will potentially be renumbered in remade regulations, even if their content remains comparable.

 

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, on a cost recovery basis, the operations of the regulator for the offshore petroleum industry, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

 

The Bill will amend the Levies Act to remove the references to specific titles of regulations, and instead enable references to the titles of regulations, or reference to provisions of regulations, to be prescribed by regulations under the Levies Act.

 

Although the amendments will provide for regulatory provisions in relation to which taxes are imposed to be prescribed in regulations, rather than specified in the legislation, the practical effect will remain the same. Prescribing references to titles or provisions of regulations made under the OPGGS Act by regulation will avoid the need to change the Levies Act each time the various sets of regulations sunset, with associated risks to the ongoing effective operation of the Levies Act (for example, if amendments to the Act do not pass in time). Further, the regulatory provisions would be subject to disallowance.   

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The Bill is expected to have nil financial impact. However, should the amendments not be made, there may be a Budget impact due to the fact that NOPSEMA will not be able to be funded by levies collected under the Levies Act.



 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment (Regulations References) Bill 2018 (the Bill)

 

The Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 (the Levies Act) to future-proof references to regulations made under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the OPGGS Act) in provisions of the Levies Act. The amendments will avoid the need to amend the Levies Act any time regulations under the OPGGS Act sunset and are remade.

 

The Bill will amend the Levies Act to remove the references to specific titles of regulations, and instead enable references to the titles of regulations, or reference to provisions of regulations, to be prescribed by regulations under the Levies Act.

 

References to ‘prescribed regulations’ and to ‘prescribed provision’ in the Bill mean prescribed under the regulation-making power in section 11 of the Levies Act. Entire regulations or particular provisions of regulations made under the OPGGS Act will be prescribed.

 

Human Rights implications

The Bill makes technical amendments only and does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

 

Conclusion

The Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

 

 

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

Senator the Honourable Matthew Canavan


OFFSHORE PETROLEUM AND GREENHOUSE GAS STORAGE (REGULATORY LEVIES) AMENDMENT (REGULATIONS REFERENCES) BILL 2018

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1—Short title

 

1.              This is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Act.

 

Clause 2—Commencement

 

2.              The table in this clause sets out the commencement dates for when the provisions of the Bill will commence.

 

3.              The Bill will not commence unless the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment Act 2018 (the Levies Amendment Act) receives the Royal Assent. The Levies Amendment Act includes amendments to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003 (the Levies Act) that omit or insert references to specific titles of regulations made under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (the OPGGS Act). The references to be inserted will be amended by the provisions of this Bill.

 

4.              If the Miscellaneous Amendments Act receives the Royal Assent, the Bill will commence by Proclamation. This will enable time to make amendments to regulations under the Levies Act to prescribe references to regulations before the Bill commences.    

 

5.              If Proclamation does not occur within 6 months of Royal Assent, the Bill will automatically commence immediately after the later of the day after the 6 month period expires, or the commencement of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment Act 2018 (the Levies Amendment Act). Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Levies Amendments Act is the latest to commence of the Parts of the Levies Amendments Act that will insert references to specific titles of regulations in the Levies Act, and must therefore commence before the amendments in this Bill commence.

 

Clause 3—Schedules

 

6.              This clause gives effect to the provisions in the Schedule to the Bill.

 



 

Schedule 1—Amendments

 

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Act 2003

 

Items 1 to 4: Subsection 7(8) (definition of safety case in force in relation to a facility ); Subsection 7(9); Subsection 8(8) (definition of safety case in force in relation to a facility ); Subsection 8(9)

 

7.              Subsections 7(8) and 8(8) of the Levies Act define safety case in force in relation to a facility for the purpose of sections 7 and 8 (imposition of safety case levy in Commonwealth waters and designated coastal waters respectively). The definitions include specific references to the Offshore Petroleum (Safety) Regulations 2009 (now named the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009 ).  

 

8.              Item 1 repeals the definition in subsection 7(8) and replaces it with a new definition that provides for safety case in force in relation to a facility , for the purpose of safety case levies imposed in Commonwealth waters, to have the meaning given by prescribed regulations, or a prescribed provision of regulations, made under the OPGGS Act. Item 3 repeals the definition in subsection 8(8) and replaces it with a new definition that provides for safety case in force in relation to a facility , for the purpose of safety case levies imposed in designated coastal waters, to have the same meaning as in regulations of a State or Territory that substantially correspond to prescribed regulations, or a prescribed provision of regulations, made under the OPGGS Act.

 

9.              The reference to ‘prescribed regulations’ in items 1 and 3, and to ‘prescribed provision’ in later items, means prescribed under the regulation-making power in section 11 of the Levies Act. Entire regulations or particular provisions of regulations made under the OPGGS Act will be prescribed.

 

10.          Items 2 and 4 repeal subsections 7(9) and 8(9). The subsections are no longer required given the amendments made by items 1 and 3.

 

Item 5: Before subsection 10A(6A)

 

11.          This item inserts the heading ‘Abandoned wells’ before subsection 10A(6A). This heading was included after subsection 10A(6A) and before subsection 10A(7). However, as subsection 10A(6A) also relates to abandoned wells, it is more appropriate for the heading to be located before subsection 10A(6A). The heading before subsection 10A(7) is repealed by item 7 of this Bill.

 

Item 6: Subsection 10A(6A)

 

12.          Subsection 10A(6A) provides that, for the purposes of section 10A of the Levies Act (imposition of annual well levy for Commonwealth titles), the abandonment of a well is to be disregarded unless the process of abandoning the well was the subject of a notification under paragraph 5.17(c) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Resource Management and Administration) Regulations 2011 (the Resource Management Regulations). 

 

13.          This item omits the specific reference to paragraph 5.17(c) of the Resources Management Regulations and instead provides for the relevant provision of regulations made under the OPGGS Act to be prescribed by regulation.

 

Item 7: Subsection 10A(7) (heading)

 

14.          This item repeals the heading to subsection 10A(7) - see discussion at paragraph 11.

 

Item 8: Subsection 10A(7)

 

15.          Subsection 10A(7) provides for the abandonment of a well to be disregarded in certain circumstances, for the purposes of section 10A of the Levies Act (imposition of annual well levy for Commonwealth titles), and includes a specific reference to the Resource Management Regulations. This item omits the reference to the specific title of the Regulations and instead provides for the name of the relevant regulations, or a relevant provision of regulations, under the OPGGS Act to be prescribed by regulation.

 

Item 9: Paragraph 10B(1)(c)

 

16.          Subsection 10B(1) provides for the imposition of annual well levies on State/Territory titles if, at the start of a year, NOPSEMA has functions or powers under regulations of a State or Territory that substantially correspond to Part 5 of the Resource Management Regulations. This item omits the reference to the specific title and Part of the regulations under the OPGGS Act, and instead provides for the name of the relevant regulations, or provision of regulations, to be prescribed by regulation.  

 

Items 10 and 11: Subparagraph 10C(1)(a)(i); Subparagraph 10C(1)(a)(ii)

 

17.          Subparagraphs 10C(1)(a)(i) and (ii) respectively provide for the imposition of well activity levies on an application for acceptance of a well operations management plan under Part 5 of the Resource Management Regulations, and on submission of a proposed revision of a well operations management plan under regulation 5.13 of the Resource Management Regulations. This item omits the reference to the specific title and Part/provision of the regulations under the OPGGS Act, and instead provides for the name of the relevant regulations, or provision of regulations, to be prescribed by regulation.

 

Items 12 and 13: Subparagraph 10D(1)(a)(i); Subparagraph 10D(1)(a)(iv)

 

18.          Subparagraphs 10D(1)(a)(i) and (iv) respectively provide for the imposition of well activity levies on an application for acceptance of a well operations management plan under regulations of a State or Territory that substantially correspond to Part 5 of the Resource Management Regulations, and on submission of a proposed revision of a well operations management plan under a regulation of a State or Territory that substantially corresponds to regulation 5.13 of the Resource Management Regulations. This item omits the reference to the specific title and Part/provision of the regulations under the OPGGS Act, and instead provides for the name of the relevant regulations, or provision of regulations, to be prescribed by regulation.   

 

Items 14 to 16: Subparagraph 10F(1)(a)(i); Subparagraph 10F(1)(b)(i); Subparagraph 10F(1)(c)(i)

 

19.          Subsection 10F(1) provides for the imposition of environment plan levies with respect to activities authorised by Commonwealth titles, and includes specific references to regulations 9, 17, 18 and 19 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 (the Environment Regulations). This item omits the reference to the specific title and provision of the Regulations under the OPGGS Act, and instead provides for the relevant provision of the relevant regulations to be prescribed by regulation.  

 

Items 17 to 19: Subparagraph 10G(1)(a)(i); Subparagraph 10G(1)(b)(i); Subparagraph 10G(1)(c)(i)

 

20.          Subsection 10G(1) provides for the imposition of environment plan levies with respect to activities authorised by State/Territory titles, and includes specific references to regulations 9, 17, 18 and 19 of the Environment Regulations. This item omits the reference to the specific title and provision of the Regulations under the OPGGS Act, and instead provides for the relevant provision of the relevant regulations to be prescribed by regulation.    

 

Item 20: Application and transitional provisions

 

21.          This item provides application and transitional provisions in relation to amendments made by this Bill. 

 

22.          Subitem 20(1) ensures that a notification given by the Regulator under paragraph 5.17(c) of the Resource Management Regulations will continue to be relevant for the operation of subsection 10A(6A) of the Levies Act on and after commencement of the Bill, despite the amendment made by item 6.

 

23.          Subitem 20(2) ensures that an approval by NOPSEMA to the commencement of the abandonment of a well under the Resource Management Regulations (as in force at the time the abandonment commenced) will continue to be relevant for the operation of subsection 10A(7) of the Levies Act on and after commencement of the Bill, despite the amendment made by item 8.

 

24.          Subitem 20(3) applies the amendment of paragraph 10B(1)(c) made by item 9 of this Bill in relation to years beginning on or after commencement of the Bill. Paragraph 10B(1)(c) provides that annual well levies in relation to State/Territory titles are only imposed if, at the start of a year, certain functions or powers have been conferred on NOPSEMA under relevant regulations of the State or Territory.

 

25.          Subitems 20(4), (5), (6) and (7) provide for the amendments of subparagraphs 10C(1)(a)(i) and (ii) and subparagraphs 10D(1)(a)(i) and (iv), made by items 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Bill, to only apply in relation to applications or submissions made on or after the commencement of the Bill. 

 

26.          Subitem 20(8) provides for the amendments of sections 10F and 10G, made by items 14 to 19 of the Bill, to only apply in relation to submissions made on or after commencement of the Bill.