With amendments moved by the government, the 19 Clean Energy Bills were passed by the House of Representatives this morning. Their passage through the Senate appears certain. And so 1 July 2012 appears certain to be the date for commencement of an Australian carbon price regime.

We will shortly provide an overview of the regime as contained in the passed Bills. We will also track the passage of the Bills in the Senate.

In the meantime, details of the government amendments to the central Bill—the Clean Energy Bill 2011—are available on the Parliament of Australia website.1

In summary, these amendments:

  • make alterations to the ‘opt-in’ provisions for persons who acquire, manufacture or produce certain fuels
  • make changes to the treatment of emissions from landfill, and
  • make various drafting amendments in relation to the treatment of natural gas supply and the ‘operational control’ of facilities relating to natural gas use.

The government amendments to another central bill—the Clean Energy (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011—are available on the Parliament of Australia website.2

The principal change in these amendments relates to the concept of ‘operational control under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth).