The Governor in Council has proclaimed the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (MEROLA Act) on Thursday 25 June 2020.
This means that the commencement date of those provisions which did not come into effect on royal assent have now been set. The remaining MEROLA Act provisions commence on three different commencement dates.
The first tranche commences on 1 July 2020 and includes the remaining health and safety amendments and importantly the industrial manslaughter provisions (discussed in our previous Insight article published earlier in June). It also includes section 182 of the MEROLA Act, which contains an amendment to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 to deal with the potential commercial areas amalgamation framework.
The second tranche commences on 7 September 2020 and which allow the Minister to impose conditions where a change of control affects the financial and technical capability of the tenement holder. These changes also include disqualification provisions that require the Minister to refuse a transfer or grant of a tenement where the Minister is satisfied the transferee or applicant meets the disqualification criteria (discussed in further detail in our previous Insight articles published in May and February).
The last tranche of amendments commence on 1 January 2021 and amend the South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009.
What should you do?
As outlined in our previous articles, Businesses, Officers and Senior Officers should take steps now to ensure they understand and are meeting their obligations in relation to safety in light of the new reforms.
Resource authority holders should also note that the significant changes discussed in our previous articles are here to stay and monitor closely the publishing of guidelines relating to the implementation of these changes by the Government.