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AEP welcomes offshore approval reforms

AEP approval reforms

Australian Energy Producers (AEP) has welcomed moves from Resources Minister Madeleine King to streamline Australia’s offshore regulatory reform process.

Australia’s oil and gas industry body noted the legislation would be an “important step” towards ensuring the country’s energy security.

AEP chief executive Samantha McCulloch said regulatory certainty is needed for large investments.

“The current regulatory system with projects being delayed in courts at huge cost, despite receiving approval from the national regulator, is untenable,” she said.

“These are critical new supply ventures, emission reduction projects and decommissioning processes so an urgent resolution is needed for Australia’s energy security and net zero transformation.”

McCulloch commended Minister King for proposing the reforms.

“Minister King and the government have listened to the concerns of industry and other stakeholders in recent months and are acting,” she said.

“We will work with the government during the ongoing consultation process to ensure the best outcome for all stakeholders.

“Regulations must provide clarity and certainty for industry while maintaining comprehensive and meaningful consultation with Traditional Owners and stakeholders.”

The announcement follows AEP calling for the Commonwealth to fix the offshore regulatory system after the logjam of energy supply and carbon capture projects awaiting approval was exposed.

Senate Estimates heard how plans have been tangled up in the approvals process for 562 days on average for exploration and 400 days on average for development as a result of regulatory uncertainty following a Federal Court ruling.

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