The Liberal Party has joined Labor’s call for an independent inquiry into the safety of drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
Up until yesterday morning, the party had rejected Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's proposal to commission a study into the consequences of an oil spill in the Bight, opting instead to be guided by the decision of regulatory body, NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority).
In a recent Australia Poll survey, 68 per cent of South Australian respondents said they against Equinor’s plan to drill an exploratory well 370km off the coast due to fears of possible oil spills.
If Equinor's Stromlo-1 well gets the necessary regulatory approvals, drilling is expected to start in the summer of 2020/21.
Equinor has previously said it would only go ahead if it could do so safely.
"We will take the time necessary to ensure our operations are safe for people, communities and the environment," it said at the time.
NOPSEMA is still to rule on the proposal.