Improving consultation and transparency

Improving transparency of the environmental regulatory regime

The government has announced changes arising from a government review of the consultation and transparency requirements for offshore petroleum activities.

These will ensure the Australian public has a better understanding of the process used to decide where, when and how offshore petroleum activities take place and provide for more information about the environmental management to be made public.

The recommendations endorsed by the Minister include:

  • improved public consultation on potential new offshore petroleum exploration areas
  • establishing a register of interest for stakeholders who want to be consulted on future offshore activities
  • publishing Environment Plans submitted by petroleum companies before they carry out exploration or other activities in an area, and introducing a public consideration period for the plans.
  • a community engagement program aimed at providing the public more information on the petroleum approvals processes for activities in Commonwealth waters.

Next steps

The department will implement these initiatives, working closely with all stakeholders during the drafting and implementation of the policy detail to ensure any subsequent regulatory changes address the concerns that have been raised during consultation.

If you are interested in receiving updates on this issue, including notification of public consultation periods, please register your interest via email to

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