Thursday, 27 August 2020
I, and also on behalf of Senator Whish-Wilson, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) each year the Australian Government releases areas in Australian waters for oil and gas exploration,
(ii) the 2020 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release was announced on 26 August 2020 by the Honourable Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia,
(iv) a number of areas across Australia have already been opened or proposed for oil and gas exploration including the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef, the Great Australian Bight, the New South Wales coast under Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 (PEP11), the Otway Basin and Lakes Entrance in Victoria and Tasmania's King Island;
(b) acknowledges that:
(i) seismic exploration and drilling pose a risk to our oceans,
(ii) further research into the impacts of oil and gas exploration on marine life and ecosystems needs to be conducted,
(iii) the New Zealand Government will no longer issue new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, and
(iv) in a time of climate emergency, there is a need to transition to clean energy; and
(c) calls on the Federal Government to ban all new offshore oil and gas exploration.
The acreage release provides an opportunity for Australia to ensure energy security, bring down gas prices and support Australian jobs. The exploration and production of oil and gas in offshore waters, including on the North West Shelf, the Gippsland Basin and the Otway Basin, has been undertaken safely and responsibly for decades. Indeed, the pristine environment in these areas is a testament to the successful and rigorous regulation of the industry and its ability to coexist with areas of high environmental value. The Australian people can be assured that all petroleum activities in offshore waters will be undertaken safely and to the highest environmental standards.