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New offshore petroleum legislating from 1 July.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism


The Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, announced today the Governor-General has proclaimed the Offshore Petroleum Act 2006 (OPA) and related Acts to come into effect from 1 July 2008, and the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 (PSLA) repealed.

The OPA replaces the PSLA which has been the primary legislation for the administration of Australia’s offshore petroleum resources for more than 40 years. The PSLA was rewritten to simplify the presentation of the legislation after many years of operation and amendments.

Minister Ferguson said: "This will make the offshore petroleum legislation easier to understand, and reduce compliance and administrative costs to both industry and governments. However, the new Act does not change any major policies or the current management regime."

While the OPA received Royal Assent on 29 March 2006, it could not be proclaimed to come into effect until all states and the Northern Territory had updated their mirror offshore petroleum legislation, which was completed when Tasmania amended their legislation on 16 June 2008.

The largest category of amendments made in the rewrite of the PSLA addresses past drafting omissions, errors and anomalies that have been detected in rewriting the text of the PSLA.

There are also a number of amendments designed to bring provisions that, on account of their age, are out of line with current Australian Government legislative drafting principles into compliance with these principles.

Minister Ferguson said: "There are transitional arrangements in place for the current Regulations under the PSLA to continue in use under the OPA.

"The development of the OPA involved extensive consultation with industry, highlighting just how important the industry sees this legislation.

"I trust the simplification of the Act ensures Australia remains one of the most attractive places in the world to explore for and develop petroleum resources."

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The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The H

on Martin Ferguson AM MP

27 Jun 2008