Court ruling provides clear guidance on consultation requirements

Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King will direct the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) to provide improved guidance to industry on consultation requirements following the Federal Court judgement in relation to the Barossa offshore gas development. 

The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the Government was examining the full Federal Court decision from 2 December, which dismissed an appeal by Santos from an earlier ruling which set aside NOPSEMA’s acceptance of the Barossa Development Drilling and Completions Environment Plan.

“The Federal Court decision has provided directions on what is expected in relation to consulting Traditional Owner groups. The Government will work with NOPSEMA to ensure that robust consultation requirements are clearly communicated to industry,” Minister King said.  

Minister King said it was the Government’s clear expectation that industry make genuine and rigorous efforts to consult with First Nations peoples as part of the regulatory approvals process. 

The Minister said it was essential that the community is properly consulted in accordance with the law.

“I will also ask the NOPSEMA advisory board to advise Government on further steps, if any, that the regulator or Government should take to clarify consultation expectations,” Minister King said.

She said it was a matter for Santos to consider what the decision means for the Barossa project.