Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says it is 'disappointing' that PTTEP, operator of the Montara oil rig, has been fined less than a third of the maximum penalty after pleading guilty to charges arising from the 2009 spill.
"A clear message needs to be sent about the unacceptable practices which led to this spill," Senator Siewert said today.
"Practices which endanger both the lives of workers and the environment are incredibly serious, but this fine falls well short of reflecting that.
"A penalty closer to the maximum available would have been far more appropriate, given then systemic failures that contributed to the Montara spill.
"Since Montara, there have been significant improvements in areas such as regulation and compliance monitoring of the offshore oil and gas sector, but this work is far from complete.
"Our enforcement of penalties should send a clear message internationally that poor practices within industry will be treated very seriously.
"We should be expecting, and enforcing, the highest standards for safety, compliance and regulation," Senator Siewert concluded.