WWF demands full environmental impact assessment before Shell starts work near the Ningaloo marine park, north of Perth
Alison Rourke: Friday 8 July 2011 17.49 BST
Whale sharks, the world’s biggest species of fish, could be put at risk by oil drilling near Ningaloo marine park, western Australia. Photograph: Henry Walcott/AP
Conservation groups in Australia say a decision to allow Shell to carry out exploratory drilling near Australia’s newest world heritage site, Ningaloo marine park, could devastate the area if there was a spillage.
“It beggars belief that the government is not requiring a full environmental estimate of this drilling proposal,” said Paul Gamblin of the World Wildlife Fund.
Instead, the enrgy giant must abide by certain conditions, including visual observations for whales. The Australian government said Shell’s proposal did not require further assessment.