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23    Environment and Communications References Committee—Proposed Reference

Senator Simms, also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, amended business of the Senate notice of motion no. 2 by leave and, pursuant to notice, moved—That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 12 May 2016:

The potential environmental, social and economic impacts of BP’s planned exploratory oil drilling project, and any future oil or gas production in the Great Australian Bight, with particular reference to:

    (a)   the effect of a potential drilling accident on marine and coastal ecosystems, including:

                  (i)   impacts on existing marine reserves within the Bight,

                 (ii)   impacts on whale and other cetacean populations, and

                (iii)   impacts on the marine environment,

    (b)   social and economic impacts, including effects on tourism, commercial fishing activities and other regional industries;

     (c)   current research and scientific knowledge;

    (d)   the capacity, or lack thereof, of government or private interests to mitigate the effect of an oil spill; and

     (e)   any other related matters. 

Question put.

A division was called for.

Pursuant to standing order 57(3), consideration of the matter was adjourned.

The Assistant Cabinet Secretary (Senator Ryan) moved—That the vote be taken at the commencement of business on the next day of sitting.

Question put and passed.