NOPTA News Issue 01—November 2011

Legislation and regulations

On 25 May 2011, Minister Ferguson introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament a package of five Bills to amend the OPGGS Act and associated acts to implement a number of major reforms to the regulation of upstream petroleum in Commonwealth offshore areas.

The Bills were passed on 15 September 2011 and received the Royal Assent on 14 October 2011.

From 1 November 2011 the Commonwealth will commence retaining the monies payable under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Registration Fees) Act 2006 for a period of at least two years to recover the establishment costs of NOPSEMA and NOPTA.

Next steps

NOPTA and NOPSEMA will commence operations on a date to be proclaimed. The government is committed to NOPTA and NOPSEMA commencing on 1 January 2012.

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Regulations 2004 will be amended to set a new 'Annual titles administration levy' (to replace existing 'Annual title fees') to fund NOPTA's operating costs and a new 'Environmental management plan levy' to fund NOPSEMA's operating costs for its new environmental management function.

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 will be amended to address concerns raised by Western Australia on consultation mechanisms.

The Offshore Minerals Act 1994 and associated acts and regulations under those acts will also be amended.