Albanese Govt drops dodgy amendment for offshore gas industry that would have bypassed national environment laws

  • Greens strike deal with government to remove dangerous legislation that would have given resources minister power to override environment laws, undermine community consultation and fast track offshore oil and gas approvals.
  • Albanese government should scrap Future Gas Strategy, stop approving more fossil fuels developments and put all its resources behind a truly renewable Future Made in Australia
  • Albanese government must progress vital environmental law reform this term of government that properly protects Australia’s oceans from threats

The Australian Marine Conservation Society welcomes the agreement reached between the Australian Greens and the Albanese government to shelve Labor’s plan that would have allowed the resources minister to fast track offshore gas project approvals, undermine the already weak environmental regulations that apply to offshore fossil fuels and to silence the voice of First Nations people who are fighting fossil fuel projects on their Land and Sea Country.

AMCS Offshore Oil and Gas Campaign Manager Louise Morris said: “The changes proposed to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (OPGGS) Legislation Amendment (Safety and Other Measures) Bill 2024 by the government in February would have given the resources minister the power to override the environment minister on changing environmental and consultation regulations for the offshore oil and gas industry.

“The Australian Marine Conservation Society, First Nations groups and our allies worked tirelessly for the past few months to highlight the dangerous precedents in these changes that were buried in a bill to address workers health and safety in the offshore oil and gas industry.

“We are pleased that the changes that AMCS advocated for in our submission to the Senate inquiry have been accepted, and the government will remove the parts of the bill that would have allowed the resources minister to bypass environment laws. It is right that the remainder of the offshore gas bill, which deals with worker’s safety issues, will pass the Parliament today alongside new vehicle efficiency standards and Petroleum Resource Rent Tax reform.

“The Albanese government is still pushing the interests of the fossil fuel industry with its Future Gas Strategy released last week.

“The Future Gas Strategy brings more seismic blasting projects such as TGS-SLB’s massive plans to blast more than 31,000 square kilometres of sea off the Victorian coast and in marine parks and blue whale habitat, and boosts the proposal by Esso/ExxonMobil to dump carbon dioxide under the ocean floor off Victoria’s Gippsland Coast.

“The Albanese government should scrap its Future Gas Strategy, stop approving more fossil fuel developments and put all its resources behind a truly renewable Future Made in Australia. It’s time for the government to protect nature, our oceans, communities and the rights of First Nations peoples from the harm done by fossil fuels.

“The Albanese government needs to fully commit to progressing vital reforms to Australia’s national environment law this term of government to ensure Australia’s oceans are protected from the threat of climate change and direct impacts of offshore fossil fuel exploration.

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