Bills Digest no. 27 2008–09
Offshore Petroleum (Registration Fees) Amendment (Greenhouse Gas
Storage) Bill 2008
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
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Contact officer & copyright details
18 June 2008
Portfolio: Resources, Energy and
Sections 1 to 3, on the
day of the Royal Assent; Schedules 1-3, in accordance with the
commencement of various schedules of the Offshore Petroleum
Amendment (Greenhouse Gas Storage) Act 2008.
relevant links to the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and
second reading speech can be accessed via BillsNet, which is at
When Bills have been passed they can be found at ComLaw, which is
To amend the
Offshore Petroleum (Registration Fees) Act 2006 (OP
(Registration Fees) Act to include references to greenhouse gas
titles; and to impose fees for:
- registration of the transfer of a greenhouse gas title,
- registration of an approval of a dealing in relation to a
greenhouse gas title.
The register for the transfers of and dealings
in greenhouse gas titles is created by provisions contained in
Chapter 3A of the Offshore Petroleum Amendment (Greenhouse Gas
Storage) Bill 2008.
This bill imposes a fee in the following
- when the transfer of a greenhouse gas title is registered,
- when an approval by the responsible Commonwealth Minister of a
dealing in relation to a greenhouse gas title is registered.
The provisions about registration of
greenhouse gas titles mirror provisions in the Offshore
Petroleum Act 2006 (OPA) dealing with petroleum titles which
are contained in Chapter 3 of the OPA. In the case of petroleum
titles, the transfer of and dealings in petroleum titles, are
entered on the register of titles which is kept by the Designated
transfer of a petroleum title must be approved by the Designated
Authority and the instrument of transfer registered. Similarly, a
dealing relating to a petroleum title must be approved by the
Designated Authority and that approval entered in the Register. A
fee is imposed for the registration of the transfer of a petroleum
title and the approval of a dealing in relation to a petroleum
title. Both of these fees are imposed as a tax.
By contrast, the responsible Commonwealth
Minister keeps the Register for greenhouse gas titles. The transfer
of a greenhouse gas title must be approved by the responsible
Commonwealth Minister and an instrument of transfer registered
under Part 3A.1 of the Offshore Petroleum Amendment (Greenhouse Gas
Storage) Bill 2008. A dealing in a greenhouse gas title
must also be approved by the responsible Commonwealth Minister and
the approval must be entered in the register.
An example of a dealing is to be found in
proposed section 298-252 Dealing-series of
debentures. For example for the purposes of Chapter 3A, if a
dealing forms a part of the issue of a series of debentures, all of
the dealings constituting the issue of that series of debentures
are taken to be one dealing.  Proposed section 298-269 lists
the effects of dealings.
The imposition of a fee for the transfer of a
greenhouse gas title and the imposition of a fee for the approval
of a dealing relating to a greenhouse gas title are both imposed as
Section 51(ii) of the Constitution gives the
Commonwealth the power to legislate with respect to taxation.
Section 55 of the Constitution requires that laws imposing a tax
deal with only one subject of taxation. For this reason, the
matters relating to the imposition of the taxes are contained in
this Bill and not the Offshore Petroleum Amendment (Greenhouse Gas
Storage) Bill 2008.
No mention is made about any financial
implications for this Bill in the Explanatory Memorandum or the
Second reading speech of the Minister. There may be some possible
increase in costs relating to the maintenance of the Register
depending on numbers of transactions to be recorded.
The Bill contains three schedules.
Items 1-16 of Schedule 1
contain general amendments so that the words and Greenhouse Gas
Storage are added to existing references to Offshore Petroleum in
the Offshore Petroleum (Registration Fees) Act 2006.
Item 17 of Schedule
1 inserts proposed sections 6A and 6B
into the OP (Registration of Fees) Act. Proposed section
6A imposes a fee to make an entry in the Register for a
transfer of a greenhouse gas title. The amount of the fee is worked
out using the table in proposed subsection 6A(2).
The fee in respect of item 1 in the table is
calculated as a percentage of the value of the consideration for
the transfer or the value of the title transferred. The fees in
respect of items 2-4 of the table are amounts
prescribed by regulations. The fee is imposed as a tax
(proposed subsection 6A(4)).
Proposed section 6B imposes a
fee to register the approval of a dealing where the entry is made
under section 298-276 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse
Gas Storage Act 2006. The amount of the fee is worked out using the table in
proposed subsection 6B(2). For items
1-4 of the table provide for fees which are calculated as
a percentage of the value of the consideration for the dealing or
the value of the interest. The fees in respect of items 5
and 6 of the table are amounts prescribed by
Items 1-3 of Schedule 2 of
the Bill contain amendments which omit references to the term
production licence and insert the term petroleum production licence
in the OP (Registration of Fees) Act.
Items 1-12 of Schedule 3 of
the Bill contain amendments to the OP (Registration of Fees) Act
which change references to renumbered provisions.
17 September 2008
Bills Digest Service
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