Updated: January 16, 2013
Kangaroo Island seismic testing declared a ‘controlled action’
Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has declared the proposal from Bight Petroleum to undertake seismic testing near Kangaroo Island a ‘controlled action’ under federal environmental law (EPBC Act).
This is a very significant decision which may delay any testing for up to a year and means that documents related to the proposal will be published and the public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposal before a decision is made.
To all of you who answered our call to contact Minister Burke and your local politicians in the lead up to this decision – thank you.
In other related news, Minister Burke has rejected a seismic testing proposal to explore for oil and gas next to the World Heritage protected Ningaloo Reef . The Sydney Morning Herald reported “… in a rare step Environment Minister Tony Burke on Tuesday deemed the proposal "clearly unacceptable" under national environment law, only the ninth time the decision has been taken since the laws were put in place.”
This sets an important precedent and is positive news in relation to our fight to protect the waters west of Kangaroo Island from any oil and gas seismic testing or drilling.
The Kangaroo Island canyon and pools is a recognised Biodiversity Hotspot due to the unique geological features which drive seasonal upwelling currents. These nutrient rich currents support the base of the food chain for the entire western coastline of South Australia.
The area is one of only three recognised feeding areas in Australia for the endangered Blue Whale. It also supports a host of unique marine species including the Threatened Australian Sea-lion, dolphins, whales, sharks and southern bluefin tuna. To learn more about the process leading to the controlled action decision read more: k
Stay tuned for the release of the documents (expected early February) and opportunities to have your say on this proposal.
UPDATE 13/02/13 - Bight Petroleum has advised stakeholders that it has withdrawn and will resubmit its EPBC Referral relating to proposed seismic testing in the Kangaroo Island Canyons region. The company has stated that it will resubmit an updated Referral with substantial changes including delaying any proposed seismic testing until March 2014.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society (South Australia) Inc
Postal: GPO Box 1734
Adelaide, SA, 5001
Lvl 7, 118 King William St,
Adelaide, SA, 5000
Phone: 08 8231 6586