Environment and Science Minister Judy Edwards today said she would press the Federal Government to ensure a proposed bomb experiment to test Australia’s under water acoustic facilities complied with Western Australia’s environmental and wildlife conservation standards.
Dr Edwards said although Geoscience Australia today said the experiment ‘must adhere’ to all relevant environment regulations of the State and Federal Governments, she would press the Commonwealth for a public environmental review process as a minimum.
“The public needs to be told what impact this experiment potentially will have on whales that migrate along the coast,” the Minister said.
“The fact that some of the explosions are proposed to be in depths of 100m is of concern. We want to know just exactly where these sites are as the continental shelf is very narrow in that region and they could be fairly close to Ningaloo Reef.”
Dr Edwards said under the State’s wildlife protection laws, it was an offence to interfere with native animals, particularly those on the threatened species list which included humpback whales.
“The openness of the process to ensure this experiment is in line with State environmental and conservation regulations will be a test for the accountability of the Commonwealth Government,” she said.
Minister's office: 9220 5050