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SA pollies vote against Kangaroo Island protection

South Australian senators from the old parties have today voted against protecting South Australia's foremost tourism icon, Kangaroo Island, from oil and gas exploration.

Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright said the lack of support for her Senate motion would be a huge disappointment for the hundreds of thousands of South Australians who want to protect the Island.

"Four in five South Australians want Kangaroo Island protected from oil and gas drilling, including a majority of supporters of all political parties," Senator Wright said.

"It is a great shame South Australia's senators are not listening to their own voters and standing up for the Kangaroo Island community and South Australians at large.

"Kangaroo Island brings a huge amount to the SA tourism industry with 200,000 visitors each year. This obviously has great flow-on effects for our economy and KI's ecological importance is also recognised around the globe."

Canadian company Bight Petroleum has lodged applications with the Federal Government to conduct seismic testing in the Kangaroo Island Canyons and Pool. Senator Wright's motion called on the Environment Minister Greg Hunt to use his ministerial powers to reject the application.

"Following demands from the previous government to release more information to the public, Bight's plan to use seismic testing to conduct oil and gas exploration off the coast of Kangaroo Island is now open for public consultation," Senator Wright said.

"South Australians have until Christmas Eve to make submissions to Bight Petroleum and then it's in the Minister's hands.

"The KI community have been in limbo for two years. It is time for Environment Minister Greg Hunt to step in and say he understands Kangaroo Island is one of those places that are just too precious to lose."

Full text of Senator Wright's motion is available here.

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