As many readers would be aware, the NSW Government passed the Biofuels Amendment Bill (2016) in late March 2016.

Despite this Bill being strongly opposed by the fuel industry, the new legislation easily passed both Houses of the NSW Parliament as a result of the NSW Labour Opposition being wholly supportive of the changes being sought by the NSW Coalition Government (In fact, the only opposition to the changes came from the NSW Greens)

The details of the implementation of the Biofuels Amendment Bill (2016), and the likely adverse impact on fuel retail businesses and NSW jobs, are currently the subject of ongoing discussions between the NSW Government and the fuel industry (including ACAPMA).

ACAPMA understands that the NSW Government is seeking to finalise these discussions in time to introduce new Regulations in late July 2016, with a view to the new biofuel laws formally taking effect from early 2017.

In preparing for the new laws, the NSW Government enacted a new Regulation – refer Biofuels (Return by Operators of Service Stations) Notice 2016.

This new Regulation requires all NSW fuel retailers to submit basic information about their business (ABN, address, contact person etc.) as well as fuel volume data and details of fuel delivery infrastructure (i.e. nozzles) on their sites – the latter data is required on a site by site basis for both the December 2015 and March 2016 financial quarters.

Fuel retail businesses can upload their information via an online form or by completing a stand-alone spreadsheet. Both forms are provided on the NSW Fair Trading website (see http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Businesses/Specific_industries_and_businesses/Biofuels_industry/Service_station_data_collection.page).

NSW Fair Trading has prepared a set of common Questions and Answers relating to the new information requirements and these can also be found on the website.

Most importantly, all NSW fuel retailers are now legally required to submit basic information about their businesses to the State Government by 30 June 2016.

Failure to provide this information risks a fine of more than $5,500.

Inquiries about the data collection process can be made by calling NSW Fair Trading on 133 220 or by email to fuelsurveyresponses@finance.nsw.gov.au.

The above information is provided by ACAPMA to ensure that all NSW fuel retailers are aware of the new reporting laws that have been put in place by the NSW Government as part of the preparations for an extension of the NSW Biofuels mandate early next year.

ACAPMA remains wholly opposed to the new biofuels laws and considers them to be an unjustified intrusion into the retail fuels market that risks small business destruction, retail industry job losses and/or loss of local service stations in regional and rural areas of NSW.

Accordingly, ACAPMA is working with other industry stakeholders to secure State Government agreement to the introduction of appropriate business and employment safeguards for fuel retailers in NSW – before the new laws come into effect.

Further information about what NSW fuel retailers should be doing now to prepare for the operation of the new biofuels laws in NSW is available at http://acapmag.com.au/home/2016/04/biofuel-mandates-in-qld-nsw-its-time-to-prepare/.