Monday, 12 November 2018
Environment and Communications References Committee; Reference
I, and also on behalf of Senator Hanson-Young, move:
That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 March 2019:
The impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment, with particular reference to:
(a) the regulation of seismic testing in both Commonwealth and state waters, and the responsibilities of federal and state governments;
(b) the consultation process regarding the approval of seismic testing;
(c) the extent to which potential impacts are taken into account during the consultation process;
(d) the protections provided by Australian Marine Parks against any potential impacts;
(e) the approach taken to seismic testing internationally;
(f) recent scientific findings; and
(g) any other related matters.
Honourable senators interjecting—
The Australian government has robust processes for assessing the environmental impacts of seismic surveys on fisheries and the marine environment. In applying the petroleum titleholders environmental plan, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority must be satisfied that the environmental impacts of the activities have been considered, control is proposed to reduce the risk of an unacceptable level, and the community and affected industry have been adequately consulted. The government continues to encourage better collaboration between the fishing and petroleum sectors to further improve certainty about the management of environmental impacts, including a joint workshop occurring this Friday in Melbourne between Seafood Industry Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.