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					          T H E R E S O U R C E S A N D E N E R G Y L A W A S S O C I AT I O N

          OCTOBER 2007 NUMBER 43
                                                                                 news
          Australia’s Uranium Industry
          Tim Kavenagh and Ben Bradstreet

          Political developments                                             the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions)
                                                                             Bill 2006 (Tas). However, there are currently no mines
          The federal government and the federal opposition                  planned or operating in Tasmania.
          separately announced new uranium policies on 28 April
                                                                             Other states, including Western Australia and
          2007. The federal government initially proposed both a
                                                                             Queensland, have legislative or political bans in place
          new uranium strategy and work plans, including the repeal
                                                                             prohibiting the development of uranium mines.
          of existing federal legislation prohibiting nuclear activities
          by the end of the year. The purpose of this new strategy           Nuclear facilities
          was to increase uranium exports and prepare for an
                                                                             The federal government’s planned repeals involved
          expansion of the nuclear industry in Australia. It now
                                                                             removing offences relating to nuclear actions (including
          appears that the federal government’s plans, including
                                                                             nuclear installations) from the Environment Protection
          repeals to federal legislation, have been shelved until after
                                                                             and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth). In
          the federal election. However, existing State government
                                                                             response, Queensland, Western Australia and South
          bans affecting Australia’s uranium industry would have
                                                                             Australia produced legislation to specifically deal with the
          challenged any planned expansion.
                                                                             potential outcomes of federal amendments. The
          Uranium exploration                                                governments of New South Wales and Victoria relied on
                                                                             existing prohibitions.
          Exploration for uranium is currently permitted in Western
          Australia, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and the           Consequently, each State in Australia has legislation or
          Northern Territory. State government legislation prohibits         planned legislation to prohibit the commercial
          uranium exploration in New South Wales and Victoria.               development of nuclear facilities, such as a nuclear
          Consequently, uranium that may exist in those States does          reactor: the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities
          not form part of Australia’s known low cost uranium                (Prohibitions) Act 1986 (NSW), the Nuclear Activities
          reserves, which are the largest known reserves in the world.       (Prohibitions) Act 1983 (Vic), the Nuclear Facilities
                                                                             Prohibition Bill 2007 (WA), the Nuclear Facilities
          Uranium mining                                                     Prohibition Act 2007 (QLD) and the Nuclear Waste
          Uranium mining is currently only permitted in South                Storage Facility (Prohibition) (Prohibition of Other Nuclear
          Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. The only           Facilities) Amendment Bill 2007 (SA), after the Nuclear
          mines currently operating in Australia are Ranger (Northern        Facilities Prohibition Bill 2007 (SA) lapsed.
          Territory), Olympic Dam and Beverley (both in South
          Australia). A fourth mine at Honeymoon (South Australia) is
          scheduled to commence production in early 2008.                    ACTIVITY NSW VIC             WA QLD SA            NT      TAS
          Uranium mining operations in Tasmania are permitted                Exploration                                         
          subject to licensing requirements in the Mineral Resources         Mining                                              
          Development Act 1995 (Tas). A ban on uranium mining was
          recently defeated following the second reading speech of           Facilities                                          


                                                            Conference Dates for 2008
               Joint AMPLA SEERIL Resources & Energy Law in S E Asia                       AMPLA 32nd National Conference
                            Westin Hotel, Kuala Lumpur                                        Adelaide Convention Centre
                                 9 – 11 July 2008                                           29 October – 1 November 2008
                                                          Mark your diar y now!


                     News for this edition of the AMPLA NEWS has been researched and written by Mallesons Stephens Jaques.
                  Opinions expressed in this NEWS do not necessarily reflect those of AMPLA members nor are they Association policy.




AMPLA LTD 4th Floor, 360 Lt Bourke Street, Melbourne. Phone: (03) 9670 2544 Facsimile: (03) 9670 2616
ACN 006 037 529 ABN 98 006-037 529
          From President …                                                                        to President

                            I am delighted to say that as I                   Bartlett. Words fail me; Carol is heart and soul of
                            finish my year as president,                      AMPLA, and her generosity of time, spirit and intellect
                            AMPLA has reached an                              helps to make AMPLA the potent force that it is.
                            unprecedented level of strength.                  Martin Klapper
                            In 2007 AMPLA has the largest
                            number of members it has ever
                            had – 730. AMPLA is in a strong                   At the conclusion of the
                            position financially and its                      31st Annual Conference,
                            conferences, both at the state                    the Presidency will pass to
                            and at the national level,                        Peter Holden. Peter's
                            continue to attract record                        professional life has been
    numbers of delegates while maintaining AMPLA’s                            dedicated to the resources
    traditional high standards.                                               industry for over twenty
                                                                              years and he is currently
    AMPLA’s strong position reflects a booming resources
                                                                              Director of Legal Affairs for
    industry and the untiring efforts of a committed board
                                                                              the Asia Pacific business
    and enthusiastic state branches, all of whom I thank for
                                                                              of    Newmont        Mining
    their continued expenditure of time and application of
                                                                              Corporation, a position he
    intellect.                                                                                                  Incoming President,
                                                                              is shortly to leave. Peter
    The highlights of the year for me have been: the                                                               Peter Holden
                                                                              has been an active
    publication of a Spanish language version of the                          member of AMPLA since
    AMPLA model mining contract, focussed on civil law                        1986, having originally joined as an associate while at
    jurisdictions, in conjunction with SEERIL, for which I                    University, and was South Australia Branch President
    particularly thank Tony Wassaf; the development of a                      from 2000 to 2004.
    suite of minerals project joint venture agreements, for
                                                                              The National Board is presently undertaking a number
    which I particularly thank the ever enthusiastic John
                                                                              of major initiatives, including the ongoing development
    Grace and his reference groups – petroleum is also
                                                                              of model contracts and the joint conference with
    definitely on the agenda there; and the commencement
                                                                              SEERIL, both of which Martin refers to above; and it is
    of planning for a minerals and petroleum conference, to
                                                                              also reviewing AMPLA’s long term strategies with input
    be held in Kuala Lumpur in July 2008 in partnership with
                                                                              from a membership survey undertaken earlier this year.
    SEERIL, AMPLA’s first substantial off-shore conference.
                                                                              Martin and Peter have been liaising closely over the
    The joint AMPLA/SEERIL committee has allocated 9 to
                                                                              past twelve months to ensure a consistency of
    11 July 2008 for that conference; please pencil them
                                                                              approach and Peter is enthusiastically looking forward
    into your diary now.
                                                                              to continuing with these projects. It is also a time when
    I’m also delighted that Professor Barry Barton has                        there are more Board members (in particular the
    joined us as editorial director. Barry has displayed great                incoming President and Vice President) from the
    interest and energy in his first 6 months in of the job and               corporate sector than at many times in the past. Peter
    the board looks forward enormously to working with                        will be focused on ensuring that AMPLA caters to the
    Barry in the years ahead.                                                 needs of our in-house constituency as well as we do for
    Finally, but certainly not last or least, I’d like to extend              those from the private profession.
    my personal thanks and warmest appreciation to Carol




                                                PEOPLE GOING PLACES

     Toby Hewitt has moved on from Santos in Jakarta and has now joined Herbert Smith LLP in Singapore as a
     Consultant. Leigh Mollison has resigned from Midddletons to go to Freehills. Neville Henwood, formerly Legal
     Counsel at Rio Tinto subsidiary Energy Resources of Australia in Darwin, has been appointed Chief Counsel of
     Rio Tinto Procurement based in Brisbane, with effect from 8 October 2007. Charlie Ritchie, formerly of Rio Tinto
     Legal in Melbourne, has been appointed Legal Counsel for ERA.




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       T H E R E S O U R C E S A N D E N E R G Y L A W A S S O C I AT I O N
Water Act 2007
Vivian Chung

The Water Act 2007 (Cth), due to commence in early                  that Basin water resources are managed in an
2008, implements significant legislative changes in                 integrated and sustainable way.
relation to the management of the Murray-Darling Basin              The ACCC will have a new role in the water market; it
and gives effect to key elements of the Commonwealth                will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing
Government’s $10 billion National Plan for Water                    compliance with water charges and market rules in the
Security. The key objectives of the Act are to improve              Basin. Although the Minister will make the water charge
the efficiency of water use and to establish clear                  and market rules, the Minister must do so having regard
pathways to return all water sources to environmentally             to advice provided by the ACCC, the Basin States and
sustainable levels of extraction.                                   irrigation infrastructure operators.
In particular, the Act focuses on addressing the rapidly            The Act also expands the Bureau of Meteorology water
declining health of the Murray-Darling Basin. The Act               information functions. There will be increased trans-
establishes an independent institution, the Murray-                 parency in reporting and monitoring of water, with the
Darling Basin Authority, that will be responsible for               Bureau authorised to collect and publish high-quality
management and planning decisions concerning the                    water information. Greater recognition is also given
Basin. Persons with significant expertise in areas such             under the Act to the role that metering and monitoring
as water resource management, hydrology, resource                   of water usage and water resources plays in the aim of
economics, irrigated agriculture, public sector gover-              maintaining and ensuring sustainable water use.
nance and financial management will be appointed to
                                                                    In order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the
the Authority.
                                                                    Act, and ensure that the objectives of the Act are
The Authority will be responsible for developing a Basin            carried out, a wide range of enforcement mechanisms
Plan which will also include an environmental watering              and penalties have been provided for. The enforcement
plan and a water quality and salinity management plan.              mechanisms include injunctions, enforceable under-
The Authority will have enforcement powers to ensure                takings, civil penalties and enforcement notices.




 Gavin Scott and Helen Kelly, hard working
 members of the Organising Committee                                                             Martin Kudnig and Peter Rawling


                                                David and Trish Moroney from Fulbright
                                                & Jaworski International




                                                 Below: L to R, Peter Reid, Nora Young,
                                                 Russell Hetherington and Doug Young




 Delegates enjoying the Welcome Reception
                                                                                                         Peter Livingston and Katrina
                                                                                                         DiMarco of the Dept of Industry,
                                                                                                         Tourism and Resources




                                             Seen here (left) with Jamie Whincup, winner of the 2007 Bathurst 1000, are
                                             Michael MacGinley president of the Queenland Branch and chair of the
                                             Conference Organising Committee together with Martin Klapper, President of AMPLA



                                                 CONFERENCE 2007 – GOLD COAST




                                                                                                                                            3
    Geothermal Energy Regulation
    Tim Kavenagh

    The regulation of Geothermal Energy will shortly be                       Australian Bill provide for vesting of Western Australia’s
    extended to Western Australia.                                            geothermal energy resources in the Crown, secure title
    At the 2006 AMPLA National Conference, John Hedge,                        for geothermal explorers and producers, coexistence of
    examined the then current State regimes for regulation                    petroleum and geothermal resource titles and a
    of geothermal energy. At the time that paper was                          mechanism for the collection of geothermal royalties.
    delivered, New South Wales and Tasmania had                               The holders of petroleum titles will not have the right to
    amended their respective mining legislation to regulate                   explore for or take geothermal energy and similarly
    the exploration and extraction of geothermal energy,                      holders of geothermal titles will not have the right to
    Victoria and Queensland had introduced ‘stand alone’                      explore for or extract petroleum. Each must report the
    legislation and South Australia provided for regulation                   discovery of petroleum and geothermal energy. Any
    under the Petroleum Act 2000 (SA).                                        dispute between the holder of a geothermal title, a
    Since then Northern Territory and Western Australia                       petroleum title or a mining tenement will be dealt with
    have proposed their own legislation.                                      by way of inquiry and report by a warden under the
                                                                              Mining Act 1978 (WA). The Minister may make such
    The Northern Territory, published a discussion paper in
                                                                              order ‘as in the public interest and in the circumstances
    October 2006 that sought comment on a proposed
                                                                              of the case may seem to him to be just and equitable’.
    stand alone Geothermal Energy Bill. Drafting of that bill
    is underway and is now expected to be introduced into                     It is proposed that the competitive bid processes
    parliament in 2008. It is expected that the first release of              currently applying to petroleum titles will apply to those
    ground will be in prospective areas by way of                             applying for geothermal titles. Once the Bill becomes
    competitive bid followed by ‘over the counter’                            law, the responsible government department, the
    applications in other areas.                                              Department of Industry and Resources, intends to
                                                                              release various areas and invite applications for
    Western Australia has chosen to regulate exploration
                                                                              exploration titles. Blocks of 5' latitude and 5' longitude
    and extraction of geothermal energy by amending its
                                                                              based on the graticular system will be created. Areas
    Petroleum Act 1967 (WA). The Petroleum Amendment
                                                                              released will be advertised inviting applications for not
    Bill 2007 was introduced into the WA Legislative
                                                                              more than 160 blocks.
    Assembly on 16 August 2007, passed unamended by
    the Assembly and introduced into the Legislative                          A royalty of 2.5% of the value of the energy at the well
    Council on 20 September 2007. If passed, the amended                      head will be imposed. The royalties received will, as a
    act will be called the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy                    matter of policy, be paid to a low-energy emissions
    Resources Act 1967. The key elements of the Western                       fund.


    Current status of the Offshore Petroleum Act 2006 (Cwlth) and
    inclusion of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
    James Fahey and Jessica Davies

    Current status of the Offshore Petroleum Act                              New CCS provisions
    The Offshore Petroleum Act 2006 (Cwlth) (Offshore Act) is                 Given the growing interest in, and proposed developments
    a plain English rewrite which will replace the Petroleum                  using, CCS technology, the Offshore Act is currently being
    Submerged Lands Act 1967 (Cwlth) (PSLA (Cwlth)). The                      amended to include a new section on carbon capture and
    Offshore Act has been passed but not yet proclaimed and                   storage. The Offshore Petroleum (Amendment) Bill (No 2) is
    therefore has no legal force. As each State and the                       at draft stage. As many potential storage sites are likely to
    Northern Territory has in place PSLAs which substantially                 be located in petroleum provinces, the CCS regime is likely
    ‘mirror’ the PSLA (Cwlth), before the Offshore Act can be                 to mirror the existing petroleum framework and contain:
    proclaimed each State and the Northern Territory must                     • an Acreage Release Process;
    pass amendments to their respective PSLAs to ensure that                  • CCS Storage Assessment Permit;
    the Offshore Acts can be read together. We understand                     • CCS Storage Holding Lease; and
    from discussions with the Department of Industry, Tourism                 • CCS Injection Licence.
    and Resources that the delay is due to the passage of
                                                                              Key issues surround the protection of existing petroleum
    those amendments by WA and Tasmania, and to a lesser
                                                                              rights, geotechnical integrity, long term monitoring and
    extent, the need for minor technical amendments to be
                                                                              verification and long term liability for sequestered CO2.
    made to the Offshore Act by the Offshore Petroleum
    Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2007 (Cwlth),                     Once drafting is finalised, DITR has indicated that they will
    currently before Parliament.                                              conduct a 4 week public stakeholder consultation period,
                                                                              following which the Bill will be presented at the October
                                                                              2008 sitting (subject to the outcome of the Federal election).




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       T H E R E S O U R C E S A N D E N E R G Y L A W A S S O C I AT I O N

				
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