Australia Officially Opens National Offshore Safety Body

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA), the new national body responsible for regulating the health and safety of workers on offshore petroleum platforms, today officially opened its head office doors in Perth.

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, who established the office with the support of State and Territory energy ministers, commended NOPSA Chief Executive John Clegg and his team on their work to date.

"The offshore oil and gas industry is worth some $18 billion to Australia. It is critical we look after the interests of the hundreds of people who work offshore to deliver this outcome for Australia," said Mr. Macfarlane.

"They often work in hazardous and isolated conditions so NOPSA's aim is to provide a nationally consistent safety regime for these workers and deliver world-best practice safety regulation in Australia," he said.

NOPSA, which commenced operation on January 1, 2005, replaces separate State-based regulators and a host of state based regulation.

"The establishment of NOPSA is an achievement we can all be proud of," Mr Macfarlane said. "It's a genuine success story in a joint State, Northern Territory and Australian initiative to improve the health and safety of workers in Australia's offshore petroleum industry."

"A single national body brings a new regulator consistency to the industry which will also reduce compliance costs. NOPSA will be a comprehensive, skilled body which can respond quickly and expertly to industry requirements."

"An open and honest relationship between NOPSA and industry will achieve improved health and safety outcomes for the offshore industry workforce which is what this is all about," said Mr. Macfarlane.

"NOPSA will become the central safety body for the industry, a national authority with uniform regulation, by replacing what was a mish-mash of state and territory based regulatory systems," he said.