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Senate backs full inquiry into oil spill

The Senate today supported a Greens' motion to ensure that any inquiry into the Montara oil spill is comprehensive.

"It is essential that we have a comprehensive inquiry into all aspects of the oil spill so we can learn for the future," said Senator Siewert today in Canberra.

The Australian Greens were concerned that the inquiry into the Montara oil spill proposed by the Government could be limited to technical and regulatory issues and not also review the clean-up operations or the environmental impacts of the spill.

Senator Siewert will also move an amendment to the legislation setting up the powers of the inquiry when it is debated in the Senate later today to ensure the comprehensive terms of reference apply to any inquiry into this and other future incidents with offshore oil and gas exploration and production.

"With ever-increasing exploration and production near the Kimberley coast we need to know how best to prevent future disasters and ensure we are fully prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any future accidents," said Senator Siewert.

"In light of the scale of this disaster and the ongoing difficultly of plugging the leak, we believe that a review of the effectiveness and appropriateness of our national response plan and the manner in which the response is coordinated across government is warranted," concluded.

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