26 September 2023

Oil regulator cruises through audit

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An independent audit of decisions made by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) in the Great Australian Bight has found the Authority applied stringent environmental regulations when considering applications for oil exploration.

Conducted by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, the audit’s findings were welcomed by the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan who said it demonstrated the community could be confident in the NOPSEMA’s activities.

The report, commissioned to ensure public confidence in NOPSEMA’s processes, found it was a highly skilled, professional and competent regulator; had appropriate processes and procedures in place to meet its regulatory requirements, and assessed environment plans against relevant, sufficient and complete scientific and technical information.

Senator Canavan said the report demonstrated that Australians could be confident that offshore oil and gas activities were regulated by the NOPSEMA in a way that met stringent environmental regulations, and that the environmental risks and potential impacts of a proposed activity were taken into account.

Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley said the maintenance of the strongest environmental safeguards and improved public understanding of the NOPSEMA processes were key considerations.

“It is important that this report provides confidence to the community and confidence to the Government that NOPSEMA is considering all risks and the values of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act and supporting regulations,” Ms Ley said.

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