We are responsible for collecting payments related to the climate change laws we administer.

Where money is owed to us, our recovery approach is consistent with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Debt recovery principles

Our debt recovery principles guide our response to:

  • debt situations
  • debtors and their circumstances.

Early engagement

We encourage and assist scheme participants to meet their obligations through a range of actions, including education and training.

We engage with participants where they may be unaware of their liability or are unable or unwilling to pay that debt.

Entities should pay financial obligations when due

Participants should pay all charges, fees, payments and other financial obligations when due in accordance with the relevant legislation.

As a government agency, we do not have flexibility to extend the time when payments are due. In some cases we may have capacity to make arrangements for instalment plans or deferral of payment.

The Clean Energy Regulator is not a credit provider

We are not a credit provider and unlike creditors, we still need to engage with non-compliant debtors.

Debt is to be managed on a risk management basis

We manage the risk that charges, payments and debts will not be paid within required timeframes, if at all. When managing this risk we evaluate the participant's:

  • individual circumstances
  • compliance history
  • viability or ability to pay outstanding debts.

We adopt the most appropriate remedy for non-compliance

We will decide the most appropriate remedy once we have established the participant's compliance history and reason for non-compliance. Depending on the circumstances, we may undertake one or all of the following actions:

  • ​early intervention – correspondence, external collection agencies
  • firmer action – garnishees, director penalty notices, statutory demands
  • enforcement – legal action, bankruptcy proceedings, company wind-ups.

Our actions are firm but equitable to all other parties

Participants that don't meet their obligations should perceive any debt recovery arrangements we make as equitable.

Our approach will include flexible payment arrangements that align with:

  • cash flow
  • remitting or reducing penalties or interest
  • consideration of hardships or financial difficulty (such as being affected by natural disasters).

Participants in financial distress

The debt recovery principles enable early engagement with participants showing signs of financial distress.

We will intervene where non-compliance by a participant in financial distress is a potential risk to:

  • the integrity of the scheme
  • a third party's assets.

It may be appropriate for us to pursue discretionary measures for past scheme non-compliance. These include:

  • fit and proper person assessments
  • criminal penalties
  • civil penalties.

This ensures participants do not receive an advantage because they are in financial distress.

Our posture ensures that we will use judgement and apply appropriate action based on the circumstances when using our enforcement powers. We will also consider the matter in the context of the scheme objectives.