The government yesterday introduced into the House of Representatives the bills to establish its proposed carbon price mechanism.

The government’s intended timeline for passage of the bills is:

  • 4 October 2011 – Joint House/Senate Committee report due by this date.
  • 12 October 2011 – House of Representatives vote on the bills.
  • week commencing 7 November 2011 – Senate vote on the bills.
  • 1 July 2012 – carbon price mechanism to commence.

The Opposition may seek to delay this passage.

Changes to the bills introduced into parliament yesterday, against the 28 July 2011 exposure drafts, include:

  • changes to the treatment of natural gas.
  • corrections to the designated joint venture provisions.
  • the inclusion of a ‘Opt-in Scheme’.

Our more detailed summary of the proposed carbon price1 provides further information on the proposed carbon price mechanism and suggests the following things we should do now:

  1. Review the impacts on your business and how your contracts deal with them. Your contracts are crucial for how carbon prices are passed through to you by your suppliers and how you can pass them onto your customers.
  2. Ensure that greenhouse and energy information gathering and reporting is optimal.
  3. Ensure that disclosure obligations are met. Consider what you need to tell the market and your stakeholders about how you will be impacted. 
  4. Consider any regulatory restrictions and plan for economic and access regulator discussion.
  5. Consider the implications for your financing. 
  6. Consider the use of offsets to reduce your financial exposure to the carbon price.
  7. Investigate options to reduce emissions and to improve efficiency.
  8. Identify whether government funding is available.
  9. Make sure marketing is not misleading or deceptive.
  10. Review operational approvals in respect of carbon issues.
  11. Consider the industrial relations issues if staff will be affected.
  12. Consider lobbying.