#resources W #Australia #Greens call for change to oil and gas acreage release process

12 April 2012

Greens call for change to oil and gas acreage release process

The Australian Greens are calling for a change in the way oil and gas acreage is released, saying the Government need stop releasing areas that are environmentally sensitive.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Marine and Fisheries said the prospect of drilling programs near Rowley Shoals was another demonstration of a flawed system.

“Environmental groups are right to have serious concerns about drilling in this area. The ecological credentials of Rowley Shoals are well established,” Senator Siewert said in Perth today.

“This is another example of oil and gas acreage being released too close to sensitive areas.

“The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities should be assessing this acreage before any release is considered. Getting them involved after the fact is just too late.

“We’ve already seen similar concerns arise around potential drilling in the Mentelle Basin off Margaret River and near Ningaloo.

“The process for determining and releasing oil and gas acreage needs to be changed in order to avoid constant repeats of the situation we are now facing.

“A better balance needs to be struck between the resource sector and setting aside important areas for environmental protection" Senator Siewert concluded.

Media Enquiries – Chris Redman on 0418 401 180

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