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KI community in limbo as environmental deadline lapses

The Kangaroo Island community remains in limbo after mining company Bight Petroleum failed to publicly release documents relating to oil and gas exploration in nearby waters, says Senator for South Australia Penny Wright.

Last month Environment Minister Tony Burke declared the company's application a controlled action and ordered Bight Petroleum release all preliminary documentation to the public for scrutiny within 20 working days. This deadline has now passed.

"Seismic testing off the coast of the Island could have drastic implications for the Island's tourism and fishing industries," Senator Wright said.

"This was an opportunity for some transparency and accountability in this process, but now the community will be kept waiting even longer.

"It is the future of the Kangaroo Island community at stake, so the least they deserve is that Bight Petroleum upholds its obligations to do things in a timely way.

"The people of Kangaroo Island have effectively been on stand-by since this process began 18 months ago."

"These documents will expose the quality of the research Bight Petroleum has conducted on the environmental impacts of seismic testing and whether they are taking seriously their responsibility to protect endangered species and commercial fish stocks from harm.

"Until these documents are released, it is impossible begin to calculate the likely economic impacts for the community.

"From an economic and environmental perspective, this area is simply too precious to lose. Bight Petroleum must release all documents as requested by the Federal Government for public scrutiny without delay."

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