Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Environment and Communications References Committee; Reference
Thank you. As I was saying, I think the people of South Australia have spoken over the weekend. They support economic development. They support sensible and commonsense approaches to this issue. We must have environmental rigour and robust regulations around this, which we do have in this country. We must strive to continue to improve those regulations, as I did last year, requiring more information and transparency from the oil and gas sector. We do of course have a serious national security issue, where we have only 21 days of petrol available at the moment in Australia. We have only 19 days of diesel available at the moment. That is a serious concern that the government is taking action to rectify. One of the more important, or certainly more effective, ways we could better handle that issue and secure safety for the Australian people in our country is to increase our own domestic production of oil and gas if that proves possible to do.
We support appropriate regulation of this industry. As I've said, it has a proud history: 190 seismic surveys have occurred in the Gippsland and Otway basins since the 1960s. We've robustly regulated those in the past; we will continue to do that in the future. We support continued efforts to increase that robustness and increase consultation but not stunts from the Australian Greens, which are simply about trying to shut down Australian jobs, Australian industry and Australian national security, not improve the environment. We are focused on the commonsense actions we can take to continue to do that. We will continue to defend proud Australian industries like the Australian seafood industry, the Australian fishing industry and the Australian oil and gas industry. All of those industries provide jobs and enormous wealth to our country. We are proud of them and we'll continue to work with them for the best results for the Australian people.