Specifically, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan reported that the new requirements are part of changes to enhance and boost transparency of the country’s offshore petroleum work.

He continued that Australians should be confident that oil and gas activities being carried out offshore meet the stringent environment regulations, and that all environmental risks and impacts of the proposed activity are taken into account.

Minister Canavan commented

The public will have a 30-day comment period to give feedback on the environmental management of proposed seismic and exploration drilling activities, providing a new level of accountability.

In addition, the official environmental plans concerning the offshore activities will be published and issued to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) before they are assessed.

Moreover, he stated that if NOPSEMA accepts the plan, it will be published, along with an explanation of how public comments have been taken into account, enabling the community to see how their concerns have been addressed.

Concluding, the new regulations will come into force on April 25. All draft environment plans submitted from that date onwards will be published on the NOPSEMA web site, along with information on how to make comments on the plans.