21/06/2016 - 06:08

Marine strategy to launch

21/06/2016 - 06:08

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A panel of industry, government, science and communty members will today release its two year marine science implementation strategy, aiming to make the state a global hub in the discipline and to encourage collaboration between industries such as offshore energy and fisheries.

Marine strategy to launch
The coastline at Kalbarri in WA (Wikimedia Commons).

A panel of industry, government, science and communty members will today release a two-year marine science implementation strategy, aiming to make the state a global hub in the discipline and to encourage collaboration between industries such as offshore energy and fisheries.

That strategy could include joint marine science degrees across the state’s four public universities, sharing of environmental metadata across the oil and gas industry, and a greater focus on the topic at primary and secondary schools.

The report was created by an industry led working party co-chaired by former Chevron Australia Greater Gorgon general manager Colin Beckett and Western Australian chief scientist Peter Klinken.

Other notable members were Woodside chief operations officer Mike Utsler, Australian Energy and Resources Growth Centre chairman Ken Fitzpatrick, Environmental Protection Authority chairman Tom Hatton and Austral Fisheries chief executive David Carter.

The report builds on a long term blueprint released last year, which is intended to guide the industry to 2050.

As a priority, the working party will target standardising of data recorded across government, industry and researchers, work on hydrocarbon spills and decommissioning policies for the energy sector.

“Irrespective of whether we represent investors or the public, uncertainty leads to cost as we try to design, manage or regulate risk away,” the report said.

“Uncertainty may also undermine support and investment in what is otherwise responsible development.

“Over the next decades tens of millions of dollars of science investment will be required to responsibly underpin the lower operating costs, effectiveness and longevity of current commercial and environmental management activities, and enable future sustainable projects.

“We would like to make that investment count and, through collaboration, generate the most value for all.”

There are 32 points in the strategy overall.

Mr Carter highlighted long term potential for marine science.

“We have to understand that if we are going to feed nine billion people (globally) by 2050 that there are going to be some choices and tradeoffs to make and this journey is around getting the science right for that but also communicating with those communities that are going to be impacted,” he said.

Dr Hatton said that the processes associated with environmental licensing, regulation compliance and monitoring can be limited by the availability of information.

That slows down development and sometimes even prevents it going ahead, he said.

Mr Utsler said the energy industry would need to integrate the information it sources.

“We each collect data and the imperative for us as an industry is how to combine that data to create the single source of information that becomes a knowledge base that all of us would accept and could use,” he said.

 

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