05/17/2010 - Environmental groups have expressed disappointment over the Federal Government's approval of a series of new offshore oil drilling leases, including one off Western Australia's South West coast.
The Government has agreed to release 31 exploration areas to the market this year.
A site 85 kilometres off the coast of Margaret River has been approved, the same site was earmarked for a potential marine sanctuary.
Michelle Grady, from the Pew Environment Group, says it is the first time such developments have been approved for areas which are also being considered for marine sanctuaries.
"So, pretty much all the areas announced today are right over the top of areas that the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett is looking at for protection and that's because these areas are critically important for marine life."
Read the full article, Margaret River Offshore Drilling Lease Approved, at ABC News.