On 4 February 2021, the Senate referred the provisions of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Benefit to Australia) Bill 2020 to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 11 March 2021. The committee completed is inquiry into the provisions of the bill and its report can be found here.
On Wednesday 17 March 2021, the Senate agreed that the bill be re-referred to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by Thursday 6 May 2021, with particular reference to:
- retention leases;
- decommissioning costs; and
- offshore domestic gas reserve obligations.
In addressing this new referral from the Senate, new submissions should confine their discussion to the three new items that the Senate has highlighted (above) in its reference.
The closing date for submissions is Tuesday, 13 April 2021.
The bill and explanatory materials
A copy of the bill can be found on the Bills and Legislation section of the Parliament's website.
Further information on the bill can be found in the Explanatory Memorandum and Senator Hanson’s second reading speech.
The previously completed Senate Economics Legislation Committee’s inquiry report on this bill can be found on the Senate Economics Legislation Committee’s inquiry page.
The committee welcomes submissions to this inquiry.
However, it is important to note that the committee is not obliged to accept every document it receives as a submission. The committee has the option to accept a document as correspondence, or not accept it at all depending on its content.
Odgers Senate Practice clearly indicates:
"…a submission made to a committee becomes a committee document, and it is for the committee to decide whether to receive it as evidence and whether to publish it."
Further information can be found in our procedural documents.
*Please note that the submissions made to the previous inquiry undertaken by the Senate Economics Legislation Committee will be considered and will not be required to be resubmitted.
Drafting a submission
To assist your document being received and accepted as a submission to the inquiry, we recommend your comments stay focussed on the provisions of the bill.
Documents that don't address the provisions of the bill and diverge onto extraneous issues are unlikely to be accepted as submissions. Further guidance on making a submission can be found on the How to make a submission to a Senate Committee Inquiry webpage.
Form letters or documents containing repetitive themes
Form letters that are received as part of letter writing campaigns are likely to be received in the following way: a sample of the document may be accepted as a submission and published with a written indication of how many such documents were received.
Similarly, documents received that are not strictly form letters but demonstrate repetitive themes are also highly likely to be acknowledged in the same way: a certain number taken as samples with a written indication of how many such documents were received.
Treatment of correspondence
If your document is received as correspondence, the committee will consider its content and it will inform the committee's consideration of the bill. However, it will not be individually referenced in the final report of the inquiry.
The committee hopes this information will assist you in the drafting of your submission.