The Australian Greens have welcomed the release of the Montara Commission of Inquiry Report and the Australian Government’s draft response.
Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Marine spokesperson says the report appears to have dealt comprehensively with a number of key issues and has made a series of wide ranging recommendations which the Greens will vigorously pursue.
“Given the report’s damning findings against PTTEP Australasia it is of great concern that since the spill occurred they have acquired new leases and could continue to operate,” Senator Siewert said today.
“This clearly highlights the need for the appropriate legislative changes to be put in place so as to suspend the operations of companies when evidence exists calling into question their capacity to operate safely.
“The findings against the Northern Territory Government demonstrate a systemic failure to regulate the industry.
“The Greens give in-principle support to the prospect of a single regulatory authority and will be closely observing how this authority is established and resourced. It is absolutely essential that such an authority is appropriately resourced and that it engages people with the necessary skills.
“We also regard it as essential that there is a separation between the body responsible for granting oil and gas leases and the body charged with the sector’s regulation.
“The environmental response to Montara was clearly insufficient, with inadequate planning in place to react to this type of disaster. It is clear that significant legislative changes are required.
“Today’s report validates the concerns voiced by the Australian Greens at the time of the spill, especially in regards to the environmental monitoring processes in place.
“We’re pleased to see the adoption of a ‘Polluter Pays’ approach and we will vigorously pursue its implementation.
“In regards to the Indonesian claim for compensation, Minister Ferguson says this remains a matter for PTTEP and the Indonesian Government.
“Australia was responsible for the regulation of this operator and retains a moral responsibility for taking leadership on this issue,” Senator Siewert concluded.