Going beyond world’s best practice - Barrow Island quarantine management system

Karl Edwards *1

1 Chevron Australia, 256 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA 6000, Australia

Chevron Australia has operated an oilfield on Barrow Island, a Class A Nature Reserve located 88 kilometres north-west of Onslow, for more than 45 years.  The island is an important refuge for many rare and threatened species, some of which are endemic to the island and the surrounding waters. Understanding and managing this biodiversity is central to Chevron Australia’s broader environmental stewardship and ensuring the integrity of Barrow Island against the risk of introduced (non-indigenous) species.  In response to this risk, Chevron Australia has developed a comprehensive risk-based quarantine management system aimed at protecting Barrow Island and its surrounding waters.  The Barrow Island Quarantine Terrestrial and Marine Quarantine Management System (QMS) is an interrelated set of more than 300 procedures, specifications, checklists and guidelines.  Considered by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority as ‘likely to be world’s best practice’, the QMS is likely establishing a new global standard.  It is scalable and can be replicated in other regions of the world and focuses on all possible introduction pathways to limit or prevent the introducing non-indigenous species to environmentally sensitive areas.  The overarching aim of the QMS is to facilitate the construction and operation of a gas processing facility on Barrow Island while simultaneously protecting the conservation values of the island.  The specific objectives of the QMS are to: 1) Prevent the introduction of non-indigenous species 2) Detect non-indigenous species 3) Control and eradicate detected non-indigenous species 4) Mitigate adverse impacts of any control and eradication of non-indigenous species. Scientific knowledge from technical experts, in conjunction with input from the wider community, has been significant in identifying and addressing all aspects of potential risk.  Importantly, the QMS is a responsive system that can readily react and adapt to changes in worldwide quarantine risk.  The QMS enables industry to co-exist with and protect an environmentally sensitive ecosystem while facilitating the construction of Australia’s largest single resource project.  The Gorgon Project is operated by an Australian subsidiary of Chevron and is a joint venture of the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (approximately 47%), ExxonMobil (25 %) and Shell (25 %), Osaka Gas (1.25 %), Tokyo Gas (1 %) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417 %).

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