Oil or Gas Production in the Great Australian Bight

At the dissolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives on 9 May 2016 for a general election on 2 July 2016, the parliamentary committees of the 44th Parliament ceased to exist and inquiries referred to the committees lapsed.

On 13 September 2016, the Senate agreed to the Committee's recommendation that this inquiry be re-adopted in the 45th Parliament. Information about the re-adopted inquiry is available here.

This is an archived webpage that is no longer updated


On 22 February 2016, the Senate referred the following matter for inquiry and report by 12 May 2016:

The potential environmental, social and economic impacts of BP’s planned exploratory oil drilling project, and any future oil or gas production in the Great Australian Bight, with particular reference to:

  1. the effect of a potential drilling accident on marine and coastal ecosystems, including:
    1. impacts on existing marine reserves within the Bight,
    2. impacts on whale and other cetacean populations, and
    3. impacts on the marine environment,
  2. social and economic impacts, including effects on tourism, commercial fishing activities and other regional industries;
  3. current research and scientific knowledge;
  4. the capacity, or lack thereof, of government or private interests to mitigate the effect of an oil spill; and
  5. any other related matters.

The closing date for submissions is 1 April 2016.

On 2 May 2016, the Senate granted an extension of time to report by 20 June 2016.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3526
Fax: +61 2 6277 5818
ec.sen@aph.gov.au