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Great Australian Bight

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Great Australian Bight Environment Protection Bill 2016

I move: That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to protect the Great Australian Bight environment, and for related purposes. . I present the bill and move: That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a first time.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

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Seismic Testing in the Great Australian Bight

Senator WRIGHT: I move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:
(i) up to 90 per cent of marine life within the Great Australian Bight is found nowhere else on Earth,
(ii) the Great Australian Bight is an important feeding and migration area to approximately 30 species of whales and dolphins, including sperm whales, beaked whales, southern right whales and the critically endangered blue whale, and
(iii) less than 1 per cent of this area is protected from oil and gas operations;

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Seismic Testing Threatens Iconic Species in the Great Australian Bight: Greens

The Government needs to stop putting the interests of big companies ahead of the protection of Australia's unique environment and marine life, Greens Senator for South Australia, Penny Wright, said.

Senator Wright moved a motion in the Senate today calling on the Government to cease issuing oil and gas exploration leases in the Great Australian Bight until after final decisions have been made on the establishment of marine sanctuaries. Currently less than 1 per cent of the Bight is protected from oil and gas operations but it is home to many species found nowhere else on earth.

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