We need national heritage listing for the Bight. If we do not have robust protections for this pristine environment it will be under constant threat from other companies seeking to drill there. I am committed to Fight for the Bight, and subsequently, our environment, and our fishing and tourism industries.
When the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) approved the seismic surveying in the Bight by the Norwegian headquartered company PGS, I persuaded NOPSEMA to review this decision to ensure the Bight's marine life is not affected by the disturbance.
I fought long and hard in opposition to Equinor's plans to drill in the Bight, which would have brought significant risk to the environment and our fishing and tourism industries. In February of 2020, I welcomed Equinor's decision to abandon its plans to drill in the Bight.
Recently, I took on the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) about their continuous cycle of approvals for work variations and lease extensions for Great Australian Bight tenements. This was creating great uncertainty for SA’s fishing and tourism industries, halting investment and growth in these key sectors.
NOPTA has subsequently declined a ‘variation in work program’ application for Bight Petroleum’s exploration permits, EPP41 and 42, located nearby Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island, resulting in big implications in future attempts to renew their lease. This means the company will have to complete a whole range of work activities prior to July 2021 - seismic surveys and the drilling of an exploration well - or default on their lease agreements. Completion of the necessary work would, on the face of it, be impossible.
These are important wins in the continuing battle to preserve the pristine ocean off our coast.