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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 235

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (10:10): I moved a second reading amendment calling on the government:

… to make further amendments to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 to improve competitive tension in the retention lease approval process in order to facilitate the earliest possible commercialisation of the exploration licence area and increase the gas supply to the Australian market.

That was opposed by the government, but I understand that the minister will set out his reasons. I apologise for the fact that Senator Moore indicated that the opposition was supporting the second reading amendment. I am very grateful for that support. To Senator Moore I say: I didn't hear it. I put that down to the Elvis Costello concert I went to in 1977, where I lost a bit of my hearing and I have never got it back. I am very grateful for the support of the opposition in relation to this, because it is a commonsense second reading amendment. I would be grateful if the government would indicate what its views are on this, because there is particularly in Bass Strait seven trillion cubic feet, potentially, of gas that could really do something to alleviate our energy crisis in this country.