Petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters that are likely to impact on matters of national environmental significance are regulated under both the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

To avoid duplication, the Commonwealth government is proposing to endorse the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) as the single independent regulator for offshore petroleum environmental assessments and approvals; providing one authorisation process which complies with both the OPGGS Act and the EPBC Act requirements.

The Minister for the Environment is to consider endorsement and approval of the new arrangement by the end of February 2014.

Changes to the current regime would only apply to petroleum activities which have not yet completed assessment under the EPBC Act and the OPGGS Act.

Do you have an interest in any proposed petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters?

Important information - have your say

  • Information sessions for industry, environmental NGOs and the fishing industry are being held tomorrow and Wednesday 27 November 2013 at the Perth Convention Centre. This is followed by a session for all stakeholders on Friday 29 November at the Canberra Department of Industry. You can register to attend any of these sessions here.
  • If you can’t make the information sessions, you can register your interest in opportunities for engagement and comment on any of the streamlining proposals at offshoreenvironment@ret.gov.au.
  • The Program and draft Strategic Assessment Report (SAR) were released on 22 November for consultation. The 'Program' describes the OPGGS Act environmental management authorisation process for petroleum activities. The SAR demonstrates how implementation of the Program ensures appropriate consideration and management of potential impacts on matters protected under Part 3 of the EPBC Act.
  • Copies of the documents are available here.
  • The last day for making a written submission on the Program or SAR is 20 December 2013.
  • An exposure draft of amendments to the Environmental Regulations should be available for comment within the next fortnight.