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Legislation, regulations and guidelines

Contents

Legislation


Commonwealth legislation

The Australian Commonwealth government administers policy for mineral and petroleum exploration in Australia's offshore areas. Responsibility for onshore legislation lies with Australia's states and territories.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council (originally the Standing Council on Energy and Resources - SCER) was established in 2011 to:

  • Progress consistent upstream petroleum administration and regulation standards
  • address issues affecting investment in resources exploration and development
  • develop a nationally consistent approach to clean-energy technology
  • promote efficiency and investment in generation and networks
  • build on Australia's resilience to energy-supply shocks.

Like many countries, Australia reviews foreign investment proposals on a case-by-case basis to ensure they are not contrary to the national interest. See Foreign Investment Review Board for more information.

State and territory legislation

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

Exploration reporting


Photo: P. English

The Chief Government Geologists, through the Government Geoscience Information Committee, have developed a national requirements standard for resources exploration reporting.

Mineral exploration reporting template software

Software to facilitate the creation of geochemical, drilling and other point located data in the required data templates has been developed to assist industry clients comply with the reporting guidelines.

Commonwealth reporting guidelines

Offshore minerals reporting regulations can be found on the Department of Innovation, Industry and Science webpage: Offshore mineral legislation and Offshore Minerals (Data Lodgement and Reporting) Regulations 1996 [PDF 31KB].

Further information on offshore petroleum reporting guidelines can be found on the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Authority (NOPTA) website.

State and territory reporting guidelines

Each jurisdiction has its own set of guidelines tailored to its legislation. These state and territory guidelines are based on the national guidelines.

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

Foreign investment

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is a non-statutory body established in 1976 to advise the Treasurer and the Government on Australia's foreign investment policy and its administration.

Like many countries, Australia reviews foreign investment proposals on a case-by-case basis to ensure they are not contrary to the national interest. The review framework is well-established, practical and non-discriminatory. Most proposals are considered within 30 days and Australia rarely rejects or imposes conditions on foreign investment business proposals. Since 2001 only three resources-related business proposals have been rejected.

You can find out more about FIRB by going to either:

Environmental policy

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government's central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places - defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance. The EPBC Act enables the Australian Government to join with the states and territories in providing a truly national scheme of environment and heritage protection and biodiversity conservation.

The Department of the Environment designs and implements the Australian Government's policies and programmes to protect and conserve the environment, water and heritage and promote climate action. You can find out more about the EPBC Act on their website.

The EPBC Act provides a legal framework to protect and manage matters of national environmental significance. The EPBC legislation applies to any activity that is likely to have a significant impact on identified matters of national significance. EPBC approval may be required for certain actions or activities that affect Australia's environment, for example when mining or exploration activities may impact on water resources.

Environmental approvals are part of the greater mining approval process; read more in Section 6 - Onshore approval processes 'Minerals and petroleum in Australia - a guide for investors'.

Taxation

Those currently investing, or considering investing, in minerals and petroleum exploration and development in Australia, should be considering the taxation implications. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a considerable amount of related material available.

For a full list of general taxes with relevant websites please see Section 16 - Taxation in the publication 'Minerals and petroleum in Australia - a guide for investors'.

Minerals specific taxation

The state and Northern Territory  governments collect royalties on mineral production in return for granting the right to private businesses to exploit mineral resources within their jurisdictions. With limited exceptions, these take the form of output-based royalties imposed as a percentage of the value of production or, less commonly, the volume of production. Royalty payments are a deduction for company income tax purposes.

Royalty systems on minerals across Australian states and the Northern Territory vary by both jurisdiction and commodity. A comparison across commodities is provided in Section 18 - Taxation in the publication 'Minerals and petroleum in Australia - a guide for investors'.