Stakeholder Engagement - Consultation and Transparency Requirements for Offshore Petroleum Activities

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (the department), in consultation with the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), is currently reviewing the consultation and transparency requirements in place under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 (the Environment Regulations).

While the Environment Regulations contain existing regulatory mechanisms that aim to provide transparency to stakeholders and ensure the consultation process is undertaken appropriately, feedback from industry and community stakeholders indicates the effectiveness of these mechanisms is not meeting all stakeholders' expectations.

The objective of this review is ensure the consultation and transparency requirements under the Environment Regulations meet and represent leading practice, and to address the concerns raised by stakeholders.

NOPSEMA Stakeholder Engagement Work Program

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) is responsible for regulating Australia's complex and high-hazard offshore petroleum industry while recognising the Australian Government's commitment to reducing regulatory burden on industry. In August 2015, NOPSEMA announced a ‘Stakeholder engagement and transparency’ work program to address issues and concerns raised by community and industry stakeholders regarding titleholder consultation practices and the current transparency of NOPSEMA's decision making processes.

Based on the feedback received from stakeholders, NOPSEMA has implemented a series of changes to improve stakeholder engagement and transparency. For further information on these changes and the work program, please visit NOPSEMA's Stakeholder Engagement and Transparency website.

Issues Paper

The department, in consultation with NOPSEMA, has developed an issues paper to examine these concerns. The purpose of this issues paper is to:

  • identify policy, legal and operational issues that could impact the effectiveness of the consultation requirements under the Environment Regulations
  • discuss those issues and identify draft options to address the issues identified
  • invite comments on the issues and proposed options including on their potential impacts to stakeholders, including industry and other parties.

The options in this paper do not represent the final government position, but are provided in order to assist stakeholders in preparing submissions in relation to the issues identified.

Submissions received, including alternative options not identified in this issues paper, will be considered in finalising the government position and in determining whether amendments to the Environment Regulations are required.

Public Consultation

The issues paper will be available for public consultation from 22 March 2016 to 30 April 2016.

Interested parties are invited to make written submissions that address, but need not be limited by, the issues raised in this paper including supporting information such as examples and evidence where relevant.

Submissions may be lodged electronically or by post. Please direct submissions to:

Email: offshoreenvironment@industry.gov.au

Offshore Resources Branch
Resources Division
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601

Submissions must be received by 5pm, Friday 30 April 2016.

Public Consultation Sessions

The department held public consultation sessions in Darwin (5 April), Melbourne (6 April), Adelaide (7 April) and Perth (8 April) that were attend by industry, environmental NGOs, members of the fishing industry and State and Territory government officials.

Next steps

Following the public consultation period, the department will consider the comments received, including alternative options not discussed in this issues paper. The department will then prepare a policy position and undertake an assessment of regulatory impacts for consideration by government.

If you are interested in receiving updates on this issue, including notification of public consultation periods, please register your interest via email to offshoreenvironment@industry.gov.au

More information

For further information, please contact:
Email: offshoreenvironment@industry.gov.au
Phone: 02 6243 7304
Post: Offshore Resources Branch
Resources Division
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
GPO Box 9839
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Current petroleum activities under consideration

There will be no impact on proposed petroleum activities currently under consideration. Current consultation and transparency requirements under the Environment Regulations continue to apply to existing and proposed offshore petroleum activities.

Should regulatory amendments be required, transitional arrangements will be developed in consultation with affected stakeholders.

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