In response to news the Albanese government and the Greens have struck a deal on the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment (Safety and Other Measures) Bill, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s national climate policy adviser Annika Reynolds (they/them) said:

“ACF welcomes the news the problematic part of the offshore gas bill has been removed.

“A single provision in this bill sought to permanently change aspects of the offshore gas assessment regime just before some of the most contentious offshore gas projects in Australia’s history – including Santos’ Barossa gas project – are assessed.

“It originally included a deeply problematic exemption from Australia’s environmental laws for offshore gas projects approval processes – in a bill that otherwise addressed work, health and safety matters.

“It sparked serious First Nations’ concerns about consultation and environmental governance.

“It would have been a free kick for multinational gas companies and would have undermined the Albanese government’s own climate policies, including the reformed safeguard mechanism.

“The Albanese government should now scrap its Future Gas Strategy, stop approving coal and gas and throw its weight behind a truly renewable Future Made in Australia.

“It’s time for the government to protect nature, communities and the rights of First Nations Peoples now and for future generations.”

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment (Safety and Other Measures) Bill makes necessary reforms to work, health and safety laws governing maritime and offshore petroleum vessels.

However, one provision in the bill would have enabled the Resources Minister, or her delegate, to water down environmental and consultation approvals standards without oversight from the Environment portfolio.

ACF’s submission to a Senate inquiry raised serious concerns about the intent and operation of the bill.

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email [email protected]