New safety rules to protect offshore workers and environment

Friday, 17 May, 2013

On 15 May, the Australian Parliament passed a landmark law to better protect Australian offshore workers and Australia’s pristine marine environment.

In passing the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Compliance Measures No.2) Bill 2013, the Senate has strengthened Australia’s offshore petroleum regulatory regime to safeguard against the destruction caused by the uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons that was seen with the Montara Wellhead Platform in August 2009.

“Recent incidents like the tragic accident on the Stena Clyde rig in the Otway Basin in Bass Strait remind us of the need for effective regulations to ensure continuous improvement and accountability in the operations of the offshore petroleum industry,” the Hon Gary Gray AO MP said.

“This Bill ensures regulators and the courts can apply more stringent requirements for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas operations to protect their workforce and Australia’s environmental assets.

“Now, polluters have a statutory responsibility to respond to an oil leak or spill and pay all the costs of clean-up, remediation of the environment and environmental monitoring if they have not met their statutory responsibilities.”

Gray thanked his predecessor, Martin Ferguson, shadow resources minister Ian Macfarlane and all members of parliament and senators for their unanimous support of the legislation.

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