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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 on seismic testing near Kangaroo Island

I move that the Senate:

1.    notes Bight Petroleum's referral of a proposed action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Reference Number: 2012/6583);

2.    recognises the high likelihood of the proposed seismic survey encountering, and having an adverse impact on:

2.1.    blue whales if undertaken between November and April;

2.2.    southern right whales if undertaken between May and October; and

2.3.    southern bluefin tuna if undertaken between December and April; and

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Greens only party standing up for Kangaroo Island community

The Australian Greens yesterday were the only party to vote in favour of recognising the ecological, economic and social importance of the Kangaroo Island Canyons and Pool to the Kangaroo Island community and South Australian community as a whole.

Earlier this month, Bight Petroleum applied for approval under national environmental laws to begin exploring for oil and gas in Commonwealth waters to the west of Kangaroo Island between January and May next year. The company intends to start drilling in 2014.

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Kangaroo Island motion

I move that the Senate:

1) notes Bight Petroleum's referral of a proposed action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Reference Number: 2012/9583) dated 15 October 2012 which sets out the company's intention to undertake seismic testing over a 3000 sq km area to the west of Kangaroo Island between January and May 2013;

2) recognises the ecological, economic and social importance of the Kangaroo Island Canyons & Pool, first and foremost for the Kangaroo Island community, but also for South Australia as a whole; and

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Time to protect Kangaroo Island running out fast

Penny Wright 24 Oct 2012

With time for making public submissions running out fast, Australian Greens Senator for South Australia, Penny Wright, has encouraged South Australians to stand up for Kangaroo Island and tell Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke KI is too precious to lose.

 Last week Bight Petroleum - which holds two exploration permits about 50km to the west of Kangaroo Island - formally applied for approval to begin oil and gas exploration in the area between January and May next year.  The company intends to start drilling in 2014.

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Minister Burke, protect Kangaroo Island

Penny Wright 15 Oct 2012

The Australian Greens are calling on Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to do the right thing by Kangaroo Island by requiring a detailed environmental impact assessment to happen before Bight Petroleum can start exploring for oil and gas off the Island's west coast.

 Today Bight Petroleum - which holds two exploration permits about 50km to the west of Kangaroo Island - formally applied for approval to begin oil and gas exploration in the area between January and May next year.  The company intends to start drilling in 2014.

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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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Marine Sanctuaries Speech

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (16:00): I rise to make a contribution to this debate because I cannot stay silent in the face of the scaremongering and hysteria being peddled by some unscrupulous elements of the fishing sector, fanned by equally unscrupulous and opportunistic claims from some members of the coalition of the Liberal and National parties. The recent announcement by the environment minister of a national network of marine reserves is certainly a substantial and major step forward for marine conservation in Australia and globally.

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