Bills Digest no. 29 2005–06
Offshore Petroleum (Annual Fees) Bill
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be
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Offshore Petroleum (Annual Fees)
(Registration Fees) Bill 2005
Offshore Petroleum (Repeals
and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2005
Offshore Petroleum (Royalty)
Offshore Petroleum (Safety
Levies) Amendment Bill 2005
Introduced: 23 June
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Industry, Tourism and
main provisions of these Bills will commence at the same time as
the provisions of the Offshore Petroleum Act 2005 which is a date
to be fixed by proclamation.
The five Bills covered in this
Digest relate to the replacement of the Petroleum (Submerged
Lands) Act 1967 by the
Offshore Petroleum Bill 2005. Besides the substantial Offshore
Petroleum (Repeals and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2005, these
Bills deal with various fees, levies and royalties.
The Government presented these Bills along with the primary
Offshore Petroleum Bill 2005 on 23 June 2005, stating they were the
culmination of the long-term project of rewriting the Petroleum
(Submerged Lands) Act 1967 and associated acts:
The Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act has been the
primary legislation for the administration of Australia s offshore
petroleum resources. The act is now close to 40 years old and,
through age and many amendments, it has become complex and
Background on the replacement of the Petroleum (Submerged
Lands) Act 1967 by the Offshore Petroleum Bill 2005 can be
found in Bills
Digest No. 27 2005-06.
The Offshore Petroleum (Annual Fees) Bill 2005 ( Annual Fees
Bill ) sets out the annual fees payable in relation to exploration
permits, retention leases and production, infrastructure and
The Offshore Petroleum (Registration Fees) Bill 2005 (
Registration Fees Bill ) sets out the fees payable in relation to
the registration of transfers and dealings in titles under the
proposed Offshore Petroleum Act.
The Offshore Petroleum (Repeals and Consequential Amendments)
Bill 2005 ( Repeals Bill ) is designed to enable the passage of a
rewritten version of the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 and
associated acts. This Bill repeals or amends over 30 Commonwealth
acts, including the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967,
that are affected by the proposed offshore petroleum
The Offshore Petroleum (Royalty) Bill 2005 sets out the royalty
payable in respect of petroleum produced in the North West Shelf
project area under the proposed offshore petroleum act.
The Offshore Petroleum (Safety Levies) Amendment Bill 2005 (
Safety Levies Bill ) amends the Offshore Petroleum (Safety
Levies) Act 2003. This Act imposes levies on the operators of
facilities engaged in exploration for, and production, processing
and conveyance of, offshore petroleum. The levies relate directly
to regulatory activities carried out by the National Offshore
Petroleum Safety Authority and are used to fully fund the cost of
the authority s operations. Since the levies are an excise, a
separate Bill to the Repeals Bill is required because of section 55
of the Constitution which provides that laws imposing duties of
excise shall deal with duties of excise only.
Clause 4 provides that the holder of a work-bid
exploration permit, special exploration permit, retention lease,
production licence, infrastructure licence and pipeline licence is
liable to pay an annual fee for each year of the title, starting
from the date of commencement of this provision.
Clause 5 provides that the Governor-General may
make regulations prescribing the amounts payable as annual fees, or
the formulae for calculating them, under each of the individual
paragraphs of subclause 4(1).
The Explanatory Memorandum notes that the fees will be
payable to the Designated Authority (generally the State or
Northern Territory Minister responsible for petroleum resources)
for each year of the term of the title to help recover the costs of
the abovementioned administrative activities .(2)
Clause 5 imposes a fee for the entry of a
memorandum into the Register in relation to a transfer of title in
accordance with Part 3.3 of the Offshore Petroleum Bill and the
amount of the fee depends on the situation. The Explanatory
Memorandum notes that the registration fees imposed by this
clause are broadly equivalent to, and imposed in lieu of, State or
Northern Territory stamp duty .(3)
Subclause 5(4) makes clear that registration
fees under this clause are a tax.
Schedule 1 repeals the Petroleum Submerged
Lands Act 1967 and various associated Acts.
Schedule 2 makes consequential amendments to
cover names changes, definitions in existing provisions and
transitional arrangements in thirty related Acts. These provisions
are to bring consistency to other Acts or regulations as a result
of the new legislative regime.
Clause 5 imposes a petroleum royalty on the
registered holder of an exploration permit, retention lease or
production licence in the North West Shelf project area.
Clause 6 provides for a number of rules
governing how the rates of royalties are to be determined.
Schedule 1 amends the Offshore Petroleum
(Safety Levies) Act 2003 to cover names changes, definitions
in existing provisions and transitional arrangements, especially in
relation to pipeline safety management levies.
Hon. Warren Entsch MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Second Reading Speech, House
of Representatives, Debates 23 June 2005, p. 18.
Explanatory Memorandum Offshore Petroleum (Annual Fees)
Bill 2005 p. 2.
Explanatory Memorandum Offshore Petroleum (Registration
Fees) Bill 2005, p. 3.
Susan Harris Rimmer
17 August 2005
Bills Digest Service
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© Commonwealth of Australia 2005
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Published by the Parliamentary Library, 2005.
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