Recent amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and
Safety) Regulation (2004) have made important changes to the
Petroleum and Gas Safety and Health Fee (Fee).
This Fee covers the costs of the activities carried out by the
Department of Natural Resources and Mines for the purposes of
safety and health relating to operating plant.
Under the new amendments:
Reporting requirements of "liable persons" are
reduced from quarterly to annually.
Fee capping provisions are introduced, to ensure users are not
paying more than necessary to fund petroleum and gas safety and
health regulatory activities.
Operators of facilities producing or processing biogas or gas
derived from waste disposal or sewerage treatment are exempt from
paying the Fee where Innovation Australia has made a positive
advance finding that these are core R&D or supporting R&D
Persons liable to pay the Fee include holders of exploration and
production tenements (but only those that are actually producing
petroleum) and operators of certain operating plant and petroleum
The New Fee Process
By 1 March each year, the Department must publish on its website
a costs estimate of the safety and health operating costs for each
relevant category of liable person for the following financial
Liable persons need to submit a safety and health fee return for
each financial year by 31 July. The Department then calculates the
Fee payable by each liable person by reference to a specified
formula for each category.
Under the new capping mechanism, where the total Fees payable
that the Department calculates for a category (eg exploration)
exceed the costs estimate for that category, the Department will
instead issue an invoice to each liable person based on their pro
rata percentage of the costs estimate for the category.
The Department must issue this invoice to each liable person by
10 November each year. The Fee must be paid on or before 10
The Government's intention in introducing this capping
mechanism is to ensure that the revenue collected from the Fee
covers but does not exceed the full cost recovery for petroleum and
gas safety regulatory activities.
This fee capping mechanism applies to all categories of liable
person who are required to pay the Fee, except for the operators of
certain petroleum facilities and LPG delivery networks where the
Regulations prescribe a fixed Fee.
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