New provisions in place
On 24 March 2020, the North West Gas Development (Woodside) Agreement Amendment Act 2020 (WA) (the Act) received royal assent.
The Act amends the North West Gas Development (Woodside) Agreement Act 1979 (WA) (State Agreement) and ratifies the Fifth Supplementary Agreement made between the West Australian Premier Mark McGowan and the North West Shelf Joint Venture Parties (Joint Venturers). The key operative provisions of the Act came into force on 25 March 2020.
The most significant impact of the Act is to extend the term of the State Agreement by a further 25 years from 31 December 2034 to 31 December 2059. This extended time period will create certainty for proposed third party processing of gas at the North West Shelf facilities. The processing of third party gas was permitted by the North West Gas Development (Woodside) Agreement Amendment Act 2015 (WA) and is expected to begin when spare processing capacity becomes available in 2021.
Other impacts of the Act include requiring the Joint Venturers to prepare and implement a community development plan and local participation plan. These plans are required to be prepared and provided to the Minister by 25 June 2020. In respect of the submission of additional proposals (which are required for third party processing of gas), the Joint Venturers must, unless the Minister otherwise requires, give to the Minister information about how the proposed activities in the additional proposal may affect the original community development plan and local participation plan.