Late last year, the SA Government passed legislation that will see the introduction of licences for all service station operators in South Australia from 1 January 2020 – with the money collected from these licences to be used to support EPA enforcement activities targeting site contamination in the fuel retail industry.
Shortly after the legislation was passed, the South Australian Government initiated an industry consultation process that involved consultation with industry bodies, including the establishment of a Petrol Retailer’s Reference Group which included ACAPMA and the Motor Traders Association of South Australia. This work was followed by a mail out to all service station operators in the State.
The industry consultation was completed in August of this year and resulted in the finalisation of licence fees for scheme registration to commence on 1 January 2020. In a desire to minimise the financial impact on smaller operators, the SA EPA developed three-tiered fee system in consultation with the Petrol Retailer’s Reference Group.
“While our initial stance is always to seek alternatives to fee based licencing, we were pleased that the senior representatives of the South Australian EPA engaged in genuine consultation about the structure of the licence fees, with a view to minimising the impact on small fuel retail businesses”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie
Recently, the South Australian EPA contacted all fuel retailers advising them of their requirement to apply for a UPSS licence under the new arrangements.
The South Australia Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has advised ACAPMA that many retailers have responded positively to the new requirement to apply for licenses under the Environment Protection Act 1993, with a steady stream of applications having been received since the online registration process was announced in October 2019.
Appreciating that this is a busy time of year, it is important to note that it is important to note that it will be illegal to operate a petrol station without an EPA licence from 1 January 2020.
“Businesses that have not yet applied for an EPA licence should therefore apply for a licence as a matter of priority, to ensure that they have secured a licence prior to the commencement of the new regulations on 1 January 2020”, said Mark.
Applications for the new EPA Licence can be lodged online via http://www.elf.sa.gov.au/. Further information about the licence can be obtained by calling South Australian EPA officers on (08) 8204 2004 or 1800 623 445 (for country callers); by emailing EPALicensing@sa.gov.au.