South Australia's Bight Basin is a 'frontier basin' with largely unexplored petroleum reserves. It's also home to the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.
It's important to protect marine ecosystems from oil and gas impacts. This inactive strategic assessment was the first step toward streamlining state and Commonwealth petroleum activity approvals.
Strategic assessments are a collaboration between the Australian Government and an assessment partner. This collaboration allows for a big-picture approach to safeguarding protected matters from the impacts of development over a long time.
The Offshore petroleum activities (SA) strategic assessment on this page is inactive. This means the then Department of the Environment signed an agreement. However, the Australian Government no longer anticipates receiving further documents to progress the strategic assessment.
The partner has no obligation to finalise the strategic assessment requirements. They may choose not to continue to seek approval for their strategic assessment at any time.
South Australia (SA)'s offshore petroleum industry is relatively small. In state waters, up to 3 nautical miles off the coast, there are low levels of petroleum exploration drilling.
Petroleum activities may need assessment or approval from more than one authority, including:
- the Environment minister, for activities that may impact protected matters
- the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), for work health and safety (WHS), structural integrity and environmental management in Commonwealth waters
- the SA petroleum regulator, for WHS, structural integrity and environmental management in coastal waters
- the SA environment regulator, for other environmental matters in coastal waters.
This strategic assessment aimed to streamline approvals without compromising high environmental standards in assessing oil and gas proposals. It was begun in case the SA Government decided to give regulatory powers to NOPSEMA.
On 11 June 2015, representatives of 3 organisations signed an agreement to begin a strategic assessment. This would assess the environmental management authorisation process for petroleum activities in SA coastal waters. The organisations were:
- the then Department of the Environment
- the then Department of Industry and Science
The strategic assessment agreement describes the process under section 146 of the EPBC Act.
Strategic Assessment Agreement (PDF 3 MB)
Strategic Assessment Agreement (DOCX 82 KB)
Terms of reference
The terms of reference for a strategic assessment detail how the strategic assessment partner is to assess the impacts of their proposed development activities.
The public comment period on the draft terms of reference ran from 17 July to 14 August 2015.
On 9 November 2015 the final terms of reference, which considered the public comments, were approved.
Final terms of reference (PDF 124 KB)
Final terms of reference (DOCX 40 KB)
Program and impact report
The SA Government have no obligation to transfer regulatory powers to NOPSEMA and chose not to do so. This means they didn't develop a final program and impact report.
If streamlining of environmental authorisation processes for offshore petroleum activities in coastal waters is considered in the future, we will apply the most efficient and effective regulatory mechanism available at the time.
This strategic assessment is now inactive.
Get in touch
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- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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