House of Representatives

Petroleum (Timor Sea Treaty) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon. Ian Macfarlane, MP)

Outline and financial impact statement


The Petroleum (Timor Sea Treaty) Bill 2003 (the Treaty Bill) gives effect to the Timor Sea Treaty between Australia and East Timor. The Treaty provides a framework for the exploration for, and exploitation of, petroleum resources in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) by Australia and the East Timor.

The Petroleum (Timor Sea Treaty) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003 gives effect to provisions contained in certain Articles of the Treaty relating to criminal jurisdiction, customs, employment regulation, migration, quarantine, income tax and fringe benefits tax. The Bill also repeals the Petroleum (Australia-Indonesia Zone of Cooperation) Act 1990.

In most cases, the consequential amendments to the various Acts are relatively minor - in many instances they merely amend the relevant Act by using expressions such as "Joint Petroleum Development Area" where "Area A of the Zone of Cooperation" or simply "Area A" previously appeared, as is the case in the Migration Act 1958 or Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 amongst others. In the case of amendments to tax-related Acts, the changes are in some cases more detailed, for instance amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 apply transfer pricing provisions to transactions between Australia and areas such as the JPDA where Australia has a shared allocation of taxing rights with another country. These changes are explained in detail in the notes on clauses section of this Explanatory Memorandum.

The Bill amends the:

Crimes at Sea Act 2000;
Customs Act 1901;
Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986;
Income Tax Assessment Act 1936;
International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963;
Migration Act 1958;
Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978;
Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967;
Quarantine Act 1908;
Superannuation Guarantee Charge (Administration) Act 1992;
Taxation Administration Act 1953 and;
Workplace Relations Act 1996.

A further Act, the Passenger Movement Charge Act 1978, is amended by a separate Bill, the Passenger Movement Charge (Timor Sea Treaty) Bill 2003. This Act requires a separate amendment Bill as the Act itself imposes a tax.

The Timor Sea Treaty is to be taken to have effect on 20 May 2002. In order for this to take place certain parts of the Bill retrospectively amend relevant legislation as of 20 May 2002.

However, to prevent any retrospective criminal liability arising under the amendments, offence provisions in the Petroleum (Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation) Act 1990 have been preserved from repeal for the period between 20 May 2002 and the date at which this Act receives Royal Assent.

Financial Impact Statement

Most changes are technical in nature and amend the Acts to reflect changes in title of certain areas or functions.

An extended commentary on the taxation implications of the amendments appears in the Notes On Clauses section.

Further information on the financial implications of the legislative package can be found in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Petroleum (Timor Sea Treaty) Bill 2003.

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