“The offshore gas amendments are fundamentally flawed and should be withdrawn. They are a massive step backwards, undermining Labor’s commitments to nature protection and leaving our endangered species at risk to the gas industry.

Comments attributable to a Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokesperson:

“We are deeply concerned that Resources Minister Madeleine King is using sneaky means to fast-track approvals for new gas projects while undermining environmental protections under the EPBC Act, laying the groundwork for more new gas during a climate crisis.

“The Bill effectively provides the offshore petroleum industry a future carve out from the protections afforded by the EPBC Act. On the day Australia is revealed as having the highest rates of mammal extinction in the world, the last thing we should be doing is weakening nature protections for the gas industry. The amendments tabled today provide Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, some veto power over future changes introduced by Minister King – specifically in ensuring that changes are consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development – but still leave Australia’s natural environment at significant risk. 

“While in need of major reform, even the current EPBC Act provides much greater protections and those protections are at risk of being lost during this blatant power-grab by Minister King.

“We are concerned that these amendments, buried in a Bill largely about worker safety, will be rushed through the Parliament this week without the relevant scrutiny. 

“The Government gave assurances that there would be extensive consultations – yet consultation has been minimal in Minister King’s rush to push the Bill through. Minister King has also labelled claims she was taking over environmental approvals a “conspiracy theory”. None of this builds confidence that Minister King is prioritising Australia’s precious natural environment above the want of the gas industry.

Woodside’s Burrup Hub is set to define Labor’s legacy on environmental protection

“The gas industry has been pushing the Labor government to weaken Australia’s environmental protections because it has a suite of new projects in the pipeline that pose a major threat to our oceans and climate. The biggest and most dangerous of these is Woodside’s Burrup Hub, which would require drilling up to 50 wells around Scott Reef, Australia’s largest oceanic reef system and a vital habitat for pygmy blue whales and green turtles.

Minister Plibersek is expected to decide whether to give Woodside the green light to drill at Scott Reef this year. It’s a key test of Labor’s environmental legacy.” 

Images of the stunning, pristine Scott Reef are available for hi-res download here. Additional photos and materials can be made available on request.


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Lisa Wills on 0456 206 021 or [email protected]