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Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Amendment (No New Fossil Fuels) Bill 2021

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2019-2020-2021

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Amendment (No New Fossil Fuels) Bill 2021

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Adam Bandt MP



Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Amendment (No New Fossil Fuels) Bill 2021

 

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Bill would have the effect of prohibiting Snowy Hydro from doing any of the following:

·          Develop, construct or be involved in the development or construction, of new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity;

·          Acquire, purchase or otherwise invest in, or be involved in acquiring, purchasing or investing in, new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity;

·          Operate, or be involved in the operation of, new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity.

 

However this prohibition would only impact ‘new’ fossil-fuel based electricity generation capacity, which would not include:

·          Fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity that derives from assets or facilities that a Snowy hydro-group company owns, controls or operates immediately before the day this section commences

·          Fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity that derives, or will derive, from assets or facilities that a Snowy hydro-group company is required to construct, develop, acquire, purchase, invest in or operate under a binding contract entered into by a Snowy hydro-group company before the day this section commences.

 

The Bill would also insert a new objects clause, a new subsection of the short outline and a number of new definitions in order to facilitate these changes.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The bill will have no financial impact.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short Title

 

This clause provides for the Act to be cited as the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Amendment (No New Fossil Fuels) Act 2021 .

 

Clause 2: Commencement

 

This clause provides for the whole of this Act to commence the day after it receives Royal Assent.

 

Schedule 1—Amendments

 

Amends the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act 1997

 

Items 1- 2:

Introduces an additional objects clause to the Act, which contextualises the prohibition on the creation or investing in new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity within the goal of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution

 

Item 3:

 

Updates the short outline to reflect that Snowy Hydro and Snowy hydro-group companies may not be involved in creating or investing in new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity.

 

Item 4:

 

Defines ‘fossil-fuels’ and ‘fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity’ for the purposes of the Act. These definitions reflect the definition prescribed in regulation 7 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 for the purposes of section 17 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

 

Items 5-6:

 

a)     Sets out a number of restricted actions that Snowy Hydro and Snowy hydro-group corporations cannot undertake, including the development or construction of new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity, the acquisition, purchase or investment in new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity and the operation of new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity

 

b)     Defines ‘new’ for the purposes of the Act, noting that fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity does not count as new if it derives from assets or facilities that a Snowy hydro-group company owns, controls or operates immediately before the day this section commences, or is required to construct, develop, acquire, purchase, invest in or operate under a contract entered into before the day this section commences.

 

This item is only mean to apply to existing generation assets, not to assets such a land, existing renewable generation capacity or other assets that would not be classed as fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity assets.

 

c)     Makes clear that directors of Snowy Hydro and Snowy hydro-group companies have an obligation to ensure that the above sections are complied with.

 



STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

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

 

Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Amendment (No New Fossil Fuels) Bill 2021

 

 

This 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 Bill would have the effect of prohibiting Snowy Hydro from doing any of the following:

·          Develop, construct or be involved in the development or construction, of new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity;

·          Acquire, purchase or otherwise invest in, or be involved in acquiring, purchasing or investing in, new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity;

·          Operate, or be involved in the operation of, new fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity.

 

However this prohibition would only impact ‘new’ fossil-fuel based electricity generation capacity, which would not include:

·          Fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity that derives from assets or facilities that a Snowy hydro-group company owns, controls or operates immediately before the day this section commences

·          Fossil fuel-based electricity generation capacity that derives, or will derive, from assets or facilities that a Snowy hydro-group company is required to construct, develop, acquire, purchase, invest in or operate under a binding contract entered into by a Snowy hydro-group company before the day this section commences.

 

The Bill would also insert a new objects clause, a new subsection of the short outline and a number of new definitions in order to facilitate these changes.

 

Human rights implications

 

This bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms, other than to promote the safety and wellbeing of people by helping to ensure a safe climate.

 

Conclusion

 

This bill is compatible with human rights because it does not otherwise raise any human rights issues.

 

 

 

 

Adam Bandt MP