Petroleum and gas sector legislation amendments
The Queensland Parliament has passed amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (the Act) to improve safety in the petroleum and gas sector.
The Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 makes a number of important changes to the Act. Some of these changes took effect on assent (29 March 2019), but most will commence within 12 months of this date to allow time for implementation.
Changes commencing 29 March 2019
Certification requirements for plant and equipment
Installers of plant or equipment are no longer required to use the ‘approved form’ to certify plant and equipment installed at an operating plant. Certification may be done using either the online form, or by following a certification process under an operator’s safety management system.
Changes to improve consistency with other legislation
The following changes improve consistency with Queensland's mining safety legislation and general workplace health and safety laws.
- Reasonableness test
A reasonableness test has been introduced for certain safety obligations. Operators, site safety managers and persons at operating plant must take all reasonable steps to ensure that everyone who has an obligation under the safety management system complies with their obligation.
- False and misleading information
The existing offence for giving false and misleading information has been separated into two offences: one for giving false or misleading information in a document and the other for stating anything that the person knows is false or misleading in a material particular (whether or not this information responds to a direction or requirement under the Act).
- Responsibility for authorised representative
Amendments confirm that the person who nominates an authorised representative is responsible for the conduct of that representative, so far as it relates to offences under the Act.
- Timeliness of initiating prosecutions
Amendments simplify requirements to start proceedings for an offence under the Act. Proceedings must now be initiated within two years of the offence first coming to the notice of the complainant.
Minor clarifying amendments
- definitions of gas work, water bores and multi-tenanted premises
- what a safety management system for an operating plant is at a particular time, if this is relevant to a legal proceeding
- provisions about the proactive release of safety information by the regulator.
Changes commencing within 12 months
Amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Safety) Regulation 2018 will be needed to support implementation of the initiatives below. The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate will provide further information about these changes before they take effect to ensure industry can prepare for implementation.
- Safety reporting requirements streamlined for operating plant
Annual safety reports will no longer need to be provided for operating plant. Instead, required safety information will need to be provided online and updated as it changes through information notices. The executive safety manager will be required to provide information about the key statutory position holders for the operating plant. The operator will be required to give information prescribed by regulation (e.g. the operating plant’s location, nature and extent of activities and details of its commissioning and decommissioning).
- Clarify operator of an operating plant
Amendments clarify that the operator of an operating plant can be either an individual or a corporation.
If the operator is a corporation, the executive safety manager must nominate an individual as a representative of the operator for the purpose of giving and receiving information under the Act.
- Identified low-risk activities exempted
A gas work licence will no longer be required for a person to undertake some low-risk activities for an operating plant that are prescribed by regulation and managed under a safety management system. The replacement of pigtails is proposed as such a prescribed activity.
- Fuel gas delivery networks
Amendments provide a consistent approach for the regulation of all fuel gas delivery networks to replace fragmented and inconsistent requirements.
- Gas device approval authorities
A new and transparent framework for appointment of persons who approve gas devices in Queensland will be established under the legislation consistent with other states.
- Safe use of gas devices
A new offence will be established to encourage the safe use of gas devices such as gas barbecues, heaters and other consumer devices.
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Last updated 3 April 2019