If re-elected, the Labor Government has pledged to set up a national off-shore petroleum regulator to ensure safety, Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said.
Speaking at an oil and gas conference in Perth, Ferguson said that the Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea last year had reinforced the Government’s decision to create the national authority.
Following an inquiry into the spill, it uncovered a serious paucity of control over oilfield operations by the Northern Territory Government.
While the Territory has begun addressing these concerns, the Federal Government would look to shift to a national regulator instead from the start of 2012.
“The move to a single national regulator is one that I will be vigorously pursuing if the Gillard Labor government is returned to office on 21 August,” Ferguson said.
Currently each state and territory oversees its own offshore petroleum industry, which has lead to a large amount of red tape and slow decision making capabilities.
Ferguson stated that apart from Western Australia, a national petroleum regulator was endorsed across the country.