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This report considers 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.

The report:

  • describes Australia's oil and gas industry, and BP's exploratory program as well as an introduction to the geographical, social and economic features of the Great Australian Bight region.
  • provides an overview of the regulatory framework governing offshore oil and gas activities in Australia.
  • canvasses issues raised in relation to the regulation of the offshore oil and gas industry. This includes issues with the adequacy of community consultation, and proponent and regulator transparency.
  • examines the economic impact of oil and gas exploration and production, at both the regional and national level.
  • examines the potential effects of an oil spill on the region's industries, wildlife, and ecosystems. It also examines the potential impact of exploratory activities such as seismic surveying.
  • examines the capacity of industry and government to mitigate the effects of an oil spill.
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