In January 2024, the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) released a consultation paper relating to the consultation requirements for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage regulatory approvals (Consultation Requirements Review). Environmental Defenders Office welcomes the opportunity to comment on the consultation paper and on the Consultation Requirements Review more broadly.

The importance of the consultation process is particularly pertinent for First Nations communities, who have cared for and relied on Country for millennia. It is critical that First Nations communities are adequately and genuinely consulted in relation to offshore resources projects that may impact their homes, cultures and ways of life, and their cultural and spiritual connections to Country. This is in line with Australia’s international human rights obligations, and long-standing principles of environmental law.

EDO’s position is that the consultation requirements in the Offshore Environment Regulations and OPGGS Act are sufficiently clear and enforceable, however, this review provides an opportunity to confirm and strengthen requirements.