Implement financial assurances to adequately protect the State from potential liabilities associated with hydraulic fracture stimulation in Western Australia.
Drafting is underway for the Bill amending the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967.
The Western Australian Government released its Financial Assurance Position Paper on 16 September 2020. The paper outlines the Government’s proposal for the broadening of financial assurance mechanisms and options for titleholders under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 as well as including the State’s ability to investigate, audit and enforce compliance with financial assurance requirements.
Implementation of this Action will require amendments to the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967. Approval to draft was received in March 2021 and drafting is underway. When completed, an exposure draft of the amendment Bill will be released for comment. At this stage, it is envisaged that the exposure draft will be released in mid-2022, followed by introduction of the Bill later in the 2022 Parliamentary year.
A paper, outlining the State Government’s position is being finalised, together with development of drafting instructions for legislative and regulatory amendments required to implement a number of actions.
Consultation paper, documenting the holistic financial assurance options available to the State, is under development.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is currently exploring holistic financial assurance options available to the State; including mechanisms available under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 for establishing financial assurances, which may provide an alternative means to minimise public liability for remediation.