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Storer seeks two-step drilling review

Source: Port Lincoln Times

Independent Senator Tim Storer visited Port Lincoln on Wednesday to garner support from locals for his bill that would introduce a compulsory higher level of consideration for drilling proposals in the Great Australian Bight. 

Mr Storer said as an independent senator, he cannot bring the bill to the floor for debate, and was now seeking support from the opposition to bring it forward for a potential vote into legislation. 

"The nature of the proposal is to drill 2,250 metres deep," he said. 

"Therefore I welcome the NOPSEMA technical expertise, but I thought there should be a two stage process....looking at serious or irreversible environment damage, community concerns, and ecological sustainable development."

Mr Storer said these aspects were covered in the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, but doesn't apply for the decision on drilling, which his amendment bill looks to rectify. 

"An idea I had for legislation was for a higher level of consideration, which already exists under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act....but doesn't apply for these decisions," he said. 

The bill would retain the initial NOPSEMA review, but if NOPSEMA approves an action in the Bight, then the act's second review process would "kick-in".