For decades, in the context of steep competition for globally mobile capital, successive South Australian governments have given bipartisan support for efficient, effective and competitive investment frameworks for minerals and energy resources which form critical comparative advantages for the State, including:

  • Regulators focus on delivering the best net benefit to the South Australian community through a transparent, consultative and effective regulatory approval process where decision-making relies on rigorous assessment of risks. The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (PGE Act) requires all decisions to be the result of transparent, open, consultative, and fair processes.
  • Bipartisan support for a one-stop-shop approach to the co-regulation of upstream petroleum operations as leading practice to deliver the most efficient and effective co-regulation for upstream oil and gas operations in our State.
  • The South Australian Government has provided targeted incentives for natural gas exploration and development through PACE Gas Grants and land access initiatives through the PACE Royalty Return program .
  • Streamlined, low cost, fair and predictable regulatory processes that aim to deliver the maximum net benefit to the South Australian community;
  • Easy access to pre-competitive technical data and information to inform investment decisions for South Australian petroleum projects;
  • Adoption of a state wide multiple land use policy that considers natural, social and economic values to inform decisions;
  • Granting exclusive and secure rights to petroleum through licences that assure entitlements to explore for, and develop, produce, process and transport gas to markets- that also reflect current commodity market conditions;
  • Increased tenure in South Australia through Petroleum Retention Licenses;
  • A competitive state royalty regime on petroleum (including natural gas, petroleum gas liquids and liquid petroleum);
  • A regulatory regime that enables fair access to critical third party infrastructure such as gas transmission pipelines.
  • Provision of targeted support and adjustment of direct administrative costs to industry when needed including:
    • PACE Gas Grant program,
    • reduction of PRL fees by 35% over the 4-year term from 1 July 2016 ,
    • the option of a 5 year deferment of royalties for gas produced from unconventional reservoirs;
    • deferring fees payment during the COVID-19 situation, and
    • policy adjustment to allow PRL holders to count development investment towards minimum exploration and appraisal expenditures when oil falls to less than A$70 per barrel.
  • Protection of privately owned intellectual property, as far as is practical, taking into account the principle of public interest in both competitive markets and transparency. In this regard, the South Australian government policies are set to remain a trusted custodian of commercial-in-confidence information that is required to be lodged in licence applications, and in reporting on regulated licence activities;

Investment factors determined at the Federal level of government in Australia (in consultation with the States and Territories through fora of the Council of Australian Governments, COAG) include:

  • Corporate and indirect taxes (on profits including company tax, petroleum resource rent tax, and goods and services tax);
  • Land access where Native Title exists pursuant to the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993 (NT Act).
  • Conditions for land access where thresholds are reached to trigger the Commonwealth Environmental Protection, Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) was established to inform rulings pursuant to the EPBC Act. South Australia signed a National Partnership Agreement, agreeing to take account of advice from the IESC in relation to approvals for coal seam gas and large coal mining operations.
  • International treaties affecting terms of international trade;
  • Terms for foreign investment in Australia;
  • Immigration;
  • Terms for Australia’s national electricity markets,
  • Terms for national industrial relations;
  • Funding national programs for health, education, welfare, etc. and
  • National security and most generally, national legislation that often overlaps in part or in total with State- and Territory-based legislation.

Investment factors that Australian State and Territory Governments influence include:

  • Access to data, information and expert advice;
  • State regulatory regimes (including security of title and user-pays fees);
  • Access to land;
  • State taxation such as payroll tax
  • Access to infrastructure;
  • State royalty regime; and
  • Interactions between State and Federal legislation (such as the Commonwealth Government’s NTA and EPBCA).

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