“It is disappointing that the Government and the ALP have moved to validate offshore petroleum titles in marine parks that were deemed invalid”, said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.
“Due to an ‘administrative oversight’ between 2008 and 2015 leases were not subject to environmental approval process (as they should be) so were deemed invalid. The Bill was rushed through the Parliament to fix the error and has passed into legislation today.
“The Government wasn’t able to explain how this ‘administrative oversight’ occurred. It turns out this issue was first discovered under the previous Government in 2011 but the Government was unable to explain how or why it was then forgotten about until December last year.
“With this in mind we must ask how this wasn’t fixed before now, and why wasn’t the process changed until now?
“We should have hit the pause button on these petroleum titles over marine protected areas. We must ask, have other mistakes been made in the environmental approval process of other titles in marine parks?
“I’m glad the Government is now undertaking an assessment of their processes but disappointed this won’t be publicly released.
“It is unacceptable that this has been shoved through today”.