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Monday, 21 February 2011
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To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This petition of citizens of Australia draws the attention of the House:

The Federal Government has granted oil exploration leases off Kangaroo Island, in areas S10-1 and S 10-2. Oil companies are now able to make submissions for these leases, before November 2010. These areas are the feeding, breeding, calving and resting grounds for some endangered whale species. Furthermore, the Southern Right Whale migrates through this area. Also nearby lies Kangaroo Island which protects and supports a diversity of flora and fauna including the vulnerable Australian sea lion and protected species of albatross. 90% of species around Kangaroo Island are found nowhere else in the world.

The lease areas are identified as zones for consideration as marine reserves within the Commonwealth South West Marine Bioregion. South Australian marine parks in the late stages of planning lie adjacent. Both Federal and State governments recognize these coastlines as areas of unique marine life and biodiversity, which are worth preserving.

The recent spill of oil off the Kimberly coast in Western Australia, and the leakage of oil in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrate the inability to guarantee safe offshore drilling. Similar accidents in waters off Kangaroo Island have the potential to have devastating consequences on marine and bird life, as well as huge costs in cleaning up. These consequences may never be reversed.

We therefore ask the House to:

Rescind the granting of oil leases off Kangaroo Island, to prevent the risk of irreversible damage to our native and other vulnerable species of life.

by Mr Murphy (from 77 citizens)