Senate debates

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Motions

Oil Exploration

12:41 pm

Photo of Robert SimmsRobert Simms (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I, and also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the intention of British Petroleum (BP) to perform high-risk exploratory drilling in the Great Australian Bight,

(ii) that the current environmental and safety evaluation being performed by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) for exploration lease approval requires BP to release sufficient information so stakeholders can make informed assessment of the project and its possible consequences,

(iii) that BP has not released critical information such as its:

(a) Environmental Plan,

(b) oil spill modelling, or

(c) oil spill emergency plan,

(iv) that given:

(a) the natural beauty of the Great Australian Bight,

(b) the ecological uniqueness of the Great Australian Bight and its critical importance for marine life, including blue, southern right, sperm, killer and humpback whales,

(c) that an oil spill of this nature could devastate the $442 million South Australian fishing industry, as well as the state’s $1 billion coastal tourism industries,

(d) that 90 per cent of oil spills take place during exploratory drilling,

(e) that the Great Australian Bight contains some of the roughest and most remote open waters on the planet, and

(f) that in the event of an oil spill, it may take up to 157 days to cap an oil well,

that this lack of environmental transparency does not meet the sufficient information criteria for NOPSEMA’s 28 day approval process; and

(b) calls on BP to release their Environmental Plan, and, failing that, NOPSEMA to reject BP’s exploration lease application.

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