Senate debates

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Petroleum Exploration

10:11 am

Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—
notes that:
the Government has included in the annual release of offshore petroleum exploration areas for 2010 an area 83 km off the coast of Margaret River in south Western Australia,
the Government is expected to announce its final decision on the release of this area on 16 May 2010,
up to 90 per cent of the marine life in the south west region of Australia is unique and half of the world’s whale and dolphin species use the region,
the region is becoming increasingly important for the tourism industry,
the area proposed for release overlaps the Naturaliste Plateau, which is considered likely to be a treasure trove of undiscovered species,
the south west region is currently undergoing assessment as part of the bioregional marine planning process,
the proposed new petroleum exploration area overlaps the ‘southwest corner’ area identified within this process for further assessment and potential inclusion in a network of new marine parks under the bioregional marine planning framework, and
the Montara Commission of Inquiry is still underway, and at the same time a serious oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening large areas of the coast line of the United States of America; and
calls on the Government not to pre-empt the marine protection process and to withdraw the area off the coast of Margaret River from the offshore petroleum exploration areas release program until a network of marine protected areas has been put in place to protect the south west’s unique marine life.

I would also note that around 1,680 people have signed an online petition opposing the release of this exploration area.

Question put.