Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Amendment Bill 2011

Bills Digest no. 8 2011–12

PDF version [438 KB]

WARNING: 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 consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Moira Coombs
Law and Bills Digest Section
5 July 2011

Contents
Purpose
Background
Provisions


Date introduced:  25 May 2011
House:  House of Representatives
Portfolio:  Resources and Energy
Commencement:  Sections 1–3 on the day of Royal Assent; Schedule 1 at the same time as Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011.

Links: The links to the Bill, its Explanatory Memorandum and second reading speech  can be found on the Bill's home page, or through http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/. When Bills have been passed and have received Royal Assent, they become Acts, which can be found at the ComLaw website at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/.

Purpose

The purpose of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Amendment Bill 2011 (the Bill) is to amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Act 2006 to correctly reference the new National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator—NOPTA.

Background

This Bill is one of a suite of Bills[1], the primary Bill being the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011 (National Regulator Bill).[2] The National Regulator Bill establishes two new bodies. They are the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA or the Titles Administrator). The Titles Administrator will “administer titles and advise the Joint Authorities on key petroleum title decisions”.[3] Further information and analysis can be found in the Bills Digest on the National Regulator Bill.[4]

Like this Bill, the National Regulator Bill replaces references to Designated Authorities which currently comprise the State and Northern Territory ministers with relevant references to the two new bodies. The Joint Authority arrangement with respect to petroleum titles will remain.

At present the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Act 2006 (the Registration Fees Act) operates to impose fees for the registration under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 of transfers of titles and approvals of dealings.  Under this Bill, the collection of registration fees will continue but they will be paid to the Commonwealth in order to recover the establishment costs of the two new bodies.

The Titles Administrator will be a public servant within the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.   This change centralises the administration of titles.

Schedule 1 of the Bill commences at the same time as Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the National Regulator Bill. There will be a period of approximately 24 months before Schedule 4 commences, or until the Commonwealth has received a total of $30.6 million, whichever is the later.

Committee consideration

On 25 May 2011, the suite of Bills was referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 16 June 2011.[5]  After a detailed consideration of the Bill, the Senate Committee concluded that the Bills should be passed.[6]  It should be noted that the Coalition Senators submitted a dissenting report.[7]

In addition, the Bills were referred to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry on 25 May 2011.[8] The House of Representatives Committee supported the passage of the Bills.[9]

Provisions

The Bill makes a number of amendments to the  Registration of Fees Act[10] by substituting the term Designated Authority with the term Titles Administrator. This will correctly reference the terms within the Registration of Fees Act until Schedule 4 of the National Regulator Act commences.  At the same time, the Registration of Fees Act will be repealed.

Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2784.


[1].       The other Bills are: the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011; the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Regulatory Levies Legislation Amendment (2011 Measures No. 2) Bill 2011; the Offshore Resources Legislation Amendment (Personal Property Securities) Bill 2011 and the Offshore Petroleum (Royalty) Amendment Bill 2011.

[2].       M Harrison-Smith, Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011, Bills Digest, no. 3, 2011–12, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 5 July 2011, viewed 5 July 2011, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbillsdgs%2F899376%22

[3].       M Ferguson, ‘Second reading speech: Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Amendment Bill 2011’, House of Representatives, Debates, 25 May 2011, p. 4494.

[4].       Op cit., M Harrison-Smith.

[5].       Details of the terms of reference, the submissions to the inquiry, and the final report can be viewed at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ctte/offshore_petroleum_2011/index.htm

[6].       Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011 and related Bills [Provisions], Senate, Canberra, 16 June 2011, pp. 31–32, viewed 30 June 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ctte/offshore_petroleum_2011/report/report.pdf

[7].       Ibid., p. 45.

[8].       Details of the terms of reference, the submissions to the inquiry, and the final report can be viewed at: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/arff/petroleum/index.htm

[9].       Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry, Advisory Report on the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (National Regulator) Bill 2011 and related Bills, House of Representatives, Canberra, June 2011,  viewed 30 June 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/arff/petroleum/report.htm

[10].     S Harris Rimmer, Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration of Fees) Bill 2006, Bills Digest, no. 30, 2005–06, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 17 August 2005, viewed 3 July 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/bd/2005-06/06bd030.pdf

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