Thursday, 2 September 2021
Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Regulatory Levies) Bill 2021; Second Reading
That this bill be now read a second time.
I am pleased to introduce the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Regulatory Levies) Bill 2021 to the House. This bill supports the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 (or the main bill) which establishes a regulatory framework to enable offshore electricity infrastructure projects, including transmission and generation projects in Commonwealth waters.
The main bill supports investment in large scale offshore electricity infrastructure through a new licensing regime, administered and regulated by the Offshore Infrastructure Registrar and the Offshore Infrastructure Regulator.
The regulatory levies bill ensures the Offshore Infrastructure Registrar and the Offshore Infrastructure Regulator are fully cost-recovered to undertake the functions required to facilitate the life cycle of offshore electricity infrastructure projects.
The National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (known as NOPTA) and the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority (known as NOPSEMA) will be appointed as registrar and regulator of the framework, respectively. These agencies have extensive experience in developing regulatory processes for the offshore environment and are best placed to support and regulate the offshore electricity infrastructure sector.
Under the offshore electricity infrastructure framework, NOPTA's principal functions will be to administer the licensing scheme, including maintaining a register of licensees and managing the application process.
NOPSEMA will be responsible for regulatory duties relating to workplace health and safety, infrastructure integrity, environmental management and compliance.
Currently, NOPTA and NOPSEMA perform regulatory functions for the offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage industries, and are fully cost-recovered by way of fees and levies imposed on these industries. NOPTA and NOPSEMA's functions will expand under the new framework to regulate the offshore electricity infrastructure industry.
Levies collected from regulated entities will be placed in the Offshore Infrastructure Registrar Special Account established under the main bill, and will be apportioned between the agencies to recover costs incurred.
Supporting the development of large projects and a new offshore industry represents an exciting new opportunity for Australia.
I urge my colleagues to support the passage of these bills that will enable the development of a new industry that will create jobs, strengthen our economy, and facilitate a more affordable and secure energy system.