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Added transparency for offshore oil and gas

28 November 2017

Australia’s offshore oil and gas regime will be further strengthened as the Government implements recommendations from a review of consultation and transparency for the sector.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said Australia already had a comprehensive and robust regulatory regime for the oil and gas sector, and these new measures would ensure even more information is available in the public domain.

“The offshore oil and gas industry gas has powered our domestic industry and export sector for decades. Over that time it has had a strong operating record,” Minister Canavan said.

“Australians can have confidence in the information used to decide where, when and how petroleum activities take place and are able to have their say during the process, as well as knowing if an incident has occurred and what action is taken to address it.

“The approval process is detailed and thorough, but there are sometimes long periods between an area being made available for exploration, exploration occurring, and production commencing. These new measures will ensure information is readily available throughout this time.”

Changes will include:

  • Improved public consultation on potential new offshore petroleum exploration areas.
  • Establishing a register of interests for stakeholders interested in being consulted on future activities in an area.
  • Publishing the Environment Plans submitted by petroleum companies before they carry out any exploration or other activities in an area, and inviting public consideration of the plans.
  • Holding community information sessions in areas where petroleum activities are being, or will be, carried out.

The Government will also consider making changes to the transparency of compliance and enforcement activities carried out by NOPSEMA, the offshore petroleum industry safety authority.

Information on the ‘Improving the transparency of the offshore petroleum regulatory regime’ can be found at: https://industry.gov.au/resource/UpstreamPetroleum/OffshorePetroleumEnvironment/Pages/StakeholderEngagementOffshorePetroleumActivities.aspx.

Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180