The Federal senate has passed a legislative package that will enable the creation of a single national regulator for offshore petroleum activities.


The establishment of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) forms the Federal Government’s response to the core recommendation of three separate reports into offshore petroleum safety.


“The reports of the Montara Commission of Inquiry, the Productivity Commission and Bills and Agostini all pointed to the need for one national body to have responsibility for regulating offshore activities if we are to improve safety and mitigate the risk of major incidents in the future,” Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson said.


“Throughout this process we have been working closely with the State and Northern Territory Governments who all share the Commonwealth’s commitment to seeing that Australia’s offshore industry is world’s best when it comes to the protection of workers and the environment.”


The Bills will now go back to the House of Representatives for final passage prior to receiving royal assent.


The Government aims to have NOPSEMA and the National Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) operational by 1 January 2012.