Thursday, 13 May 2010
- 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.