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ENVIRONMENT—DEEP SEA DRILLING

Senator Siewert, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 184—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that the British High Court is hearing a legal challenge to the decision to allow deep sea drilling in the North Sea, based on the concern that the oil and gas industry has not demonstrated its readiness to effectively respond to a large-scale spill in deep water;

 (b) welcomes the fact that Australia is in the process of reviewing and reforming the legislation and regulation governing the offshore oil and gas industry, in the wake of the recent Montara spill in the Kimberley and Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico;

 (c) raises concern that deep sea drilling licences continue to be granted in Australian waters before this regulatory reform has taken place, and before the industry has demonstrated it has appropriate risk management practices, response plans and resources in place to handle a deep sea spill in Australian waters; and

 (d) calls on the Australian Government to put in place a moratorium on deep sea drilling until the Senate has confidence that all the necessary measures are in place to prevent another serious spill.

Statements by leave: The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig) and Senator Siewert, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put and negatived.