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WA Government fuels debate about offshore regulator model
Friday, 26 November 2010
Today’s release of the Montara Commission of Inquiry Report has been welcomed by the Western Australian Government.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said the report would provide understanding of how the 2009 oil spill occurred off the Northern Territory coast.
“I will be carefully studying this report and the Federal Government’s response as I view this blowout incident as very serious. What we can learn from the report will impact the way environmental and safety regulation is carried out in WA,” Mr Moore said.
“WA’s standard of regulation is much more rigorous than NT was operating at the time of the incident, however we still have a significant opportunity to learn from the findings of this inquiry in regard to regulating our own jurisdiction.”
The Minister said the WA Government was still firm on its opposition to the Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson’s, proposal to introduce a single national regulator for the administration of the offshore petroleum industry.
“We are yet to be persuaded by this, or any other report, that a national regulator would be the way to go,” he said.
“Mr Ferguson said in his media release:
‘The report recognises that while there is room for some improvements, our regulatory regime is good - it is effective.’
“Therefore I don’t see any reason to change it.
“The proposed national regulator is unlikely to provide any benefit to Australia, WA or the offshore petroleum sector, even in the long term, as it will not solve the complex cross-jurisdictional boundary issues or the complexity relating to environmental and native title issues.”
Mr Moore said regulation of petroleum titles should remain with the State and he would continue to promote the National Compliance Auditor model preferred by WA.