Media Releases - 16 May 2024

Proposed carve out of oil and gas from environmental laws scrapped

The Wilderness Society welcomes the Albanese Government's decision today to remove a legislative provision that would have seen the oil and gas industry carved out from environmental laws.

The decision to remove Schedule 2, Part 2 from the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment (Safety and Other Measures) Bill 2024 comes after months of campaigning from First Nations, local communities, environment groups, the crossbench, Greens and from within the Labor party.

The Wilderness Society was one of many voices calling for this section of the Bill to be scrapped, and we thank all of those who’ve played a role in seeing off what would have been a big backwards step for nature, climate and the rights of communities to be consulted on oil and gas proposals.

Quotes attributable to Fern Cadman, Wilderness Society Fossil Fuel Campaigner

“It’s great to see the Albanese Government today abandoning a terrible move to carve out the oil and gas sector from federal environmental laws in response to widespread and sustained opposition from First Nations, communities, environment groups, the Greens, crossbench and from within the Labor party.”

“This bill was written by Resources Minister King for the oil and gas industry in an attempt to weaken the rights of communities to have a fair say and make it easier for fossil fuel companies to industrialise oceans and send more species on the road to extinction. It’s a relief to see common sense for communities, oceans and the climate prevail across the broader Albanese Government.”

“Carve outs for specific industries are inevitably bad for nature, people and industry. Australia’s economy needs a healthy environment, and laws that apply to all sectors, without loopholes and carve outs, are good for both nature and business.”

“Today’s move to scrap this section of the Bill shows the diminishing power of the gas industry to dictate policy in Australia. The Albanese Government must now rethink its Future Gas Strategy.”

For further information or interviews please contact Rhiannon Cunningham, media adviser for the Wilderness Society on [email protected] or 0419 992 760