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South Australia (SA)

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Timing of KI oil exploration may change, risks don’t

Seismic testing off the coast of Kangaroo Island would risk serious environmental and economic damage at any time of year, says South Australian Senator Penny Wright.

Oil and gas exploration company Bight Petroleum this morning announced intentions to withdraw and resubmit an application to conduct seismic testing near Kangaroo Island to alter the proposed timeframe.

"Seismic testing involves shooting extremely loud blasts of compressed air through the ocean every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for weeks on end," Senator Wright said.

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KI community in limbo as environmental deadline lapses

The Kangaroo Island community remains in limbo after mining company Bight Petroleum failed to publicly release documents relating to oil and gas exploration in nearby waters, says Senator for South Australia Penny Wright.

Last month Environment Minister Tony Burke declared the company's application a controlled action and ordered Bight Petroleum release all preliminary documentation to the public for scrutiny within 20 working days. This deadline has now passed.

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Further scrutiny will show the danger of Kangaroo Island drilling plans: Greens

 

The Australian Greens say closer review of Bight Petroleum’s plans to explore for oil off Kangaroo Island will make it clear the action poses an unacceptable risk to the environment and the Island’s future.

Environment Minister Tony Burke has declared seismic testing off the coast of Kangaroo Island a controlled action, meaning that the project will require appropriate assessment and approval from the Commonwealth Government. 

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Burke must protect Kangaroo Island blue whale feeding grounds

Australian Greens Marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert says allowing oil and gas exploration off the coast of South Australia's Kangaroo Island would contradict other Government environmental programs and put endangered animals at risk.

Environment Minister Tony Burke is expected to announce his decision on a proposal to commence seismic testing at the Kangaroo Island Canyon and Pools this week. Bight Petroleum intends to undertake seismic tests in the coming months and start drilling in 2014.

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Motion for futher protection of Giant Australian Cuttlefish at Point Lowly

I move that the Senate-

(a) expresses deep concern about the upper Spencer Gulf population of the giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama) which has catastrophically declined from a high of over 200 000 individuals in 1999 to less than 10 000 individuals in 2012; and

(b) calls on the Gillard Government to urgently reassess whether or not the upper Spencer Gulf population of this species is eligible for listing under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

This motion did not gain the support of the Senate.

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Government must act on Giant Cuttlefish decline

The Federal Government has rejected calls to increase protection of the Giant Australian Cuttlefish in South Australia's Upper Spencer Gulf, voting against a motion introduced by South Australian Senator Penny Wright to reassess their environmental listing.

"Cuttlefish numbers at Point Lowly have plummeted from over 125,000 just three years ago to less than 10,000 today," Senator Wright said.

"The South Australian State Government has failed to take action on this catastrophic decline and further industrialisation is planned for the area.

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Port Augusta’s Renewable Energy Future Within Reach

The Australian Greens are urging the Federal Government to commit to supporting local communities, regional jobs and a sustainable future, by supporting Alinta Energy's plans to build a solar-thermal plant in Port Augusta.­

Power company Alinta Energy is reportedly meeting with the Federal Government this week regarding the establishment of a solar-thermal power station in Port Augusta.

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Put precious places ahead of industry interests

To mark today's International Hands Across the Sand day of action, Senator for South Australia, Penny Wright, has highlighted the unacceptable risks posed by Bight Petroleum's proposed oil and gas activities to the west of iconic Kangaroo Island.

Bight Petroleum currently has permits to explore for offshore petroleum in an area to the west of the island known as the Kangaroo Island Canyon and Pools, and intend to undertake seismic tests in early 2013 and start drilling in 2014.

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