Recent Changes to the Commonwealth Offshore Petroleum Legislation: Strengthening Environmental Liability, Compliance and Enforcement Provisions

Alex Wawryk


To protect the marine environment from the exploitation of petroleum, a robust regulatory system is required, with a range of enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with the relevant offshore legislation. Significant failings in Australia’s regulatory system were exposed by the Montara oil spill in 2009. This article examines amendments to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Cth) in 2012 and 2013, which seek to strengthen the compliance and enforcement regime for petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters. It also identifies further changes that need to be made of the offshore regulatory regime, particularly in the area of liability for loss and damage suffered by third parties.


offshore petroleum, recent amendments

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