THE Australian Government is seeking views on potential policy reforms to reduce barriers to exploration investment.

The Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science reports that the proposals consider replacing the annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release with what is hoped will be a more agile system that streamlines the exploration permit allocation process and gives industry improved access to bid on vacant acreage.

This consultation process will assist in identifying the acreage release solution to best serve Australia into the future. Further work in early 2018 will explore the mechanics of the chosen solution, including processes for consultation on areas proposed for exploration, and the bidding, assessment and award of exploration permits.

A discussion paper has been developed to explore the issues and provide several options for comment as well as an opportunity to propose alternative solutions.

Written submissions can be made by 8 December 2017 by email to: or online at