South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will give notice today that she will introduce legislation to the Senate that would see the Great Australian Bight marine park protected from companies wanting to drill for oil and gas.
"The Parliament has to step in and make sure that this this national treasure is protected for generations to come," Senator Hanson-Young said.
"BP will put this spectacular marine park at risk and, if they're given approval, there are several other companies lining up behind them.
"What is the point of having marine parks if they're not protected from exploitation? Allowing the company responsible for the Gulf of Mexico spill to drill in the Great Australian Bight is a disaster waiting to happen."
The regulating body NOPSEMA is due to rule on BP's latest application for a license to drill in the Bight in just a week's time. The Greens are calling for the decision to be delayed so that greater scrutiny of the proposal can be undertaken.
"This precious marine ecosystem and numerous local industries, including fisheries and eco-tourism operators, deserve to be protected," Senator Hanson-Young said.
"The Bight is an essential sanctuary for southern right whales and a feeding ground for threatened sea lions, sharks, tuna and migratory sperm whales.
"We can't afford to put that all at risk."
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