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Petroleum and gas sector legislation amendments

On 26 March 2019, the Queensland Parliament passed amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (the Act) to improve safety in the petroleum and gas sector.

The amendments are commencing in stages over a 12-month period to allow time for implementation. The amendments were contained in the Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019.

Changes commenced 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

Amendments clarify:

  • 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 commenced 17 June 2019

Amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Safety) Regulation 2018 commenced on 17 June 2019 to support the implementation of the initiatives below.

  • Safety reporting requirements streamlined for operating plant
    • Annual safety reports no longer need to be provided for operating plant. Instead, required safety information needs to be provided online and updated as it changes through information notices.
    • The executive safety manager is required to provide information about the key statutory position holders for the operating plant within 10 business days of this provision commencing (i.e. 1 July 2019) and then when the position holders change.
    • The operator is 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 is no longer required for a person deemed competent to undertake the replacement of pigtails for a LPG delivery network managed under a safety management system.

Changes commencing within 12 months

Amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Safety) Regulation 2018 will be needed to support implementation of the remaining 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.

  • 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: 21 Jul 2020