The Government has released draft regulations under the EEZ Act which classify exploratory oil drilling under the EEZ Act as a non-notified discretionary activity.

A non-notified discretionary activity requires operators to apply for a marine consent but applications would not be publicly notified, subject to submissions or a public hearing.  The draft regulations have already attracted criticism from environmental lobby groups with the Environmental Defence Society describing the non-notified status for exploratory drilling as "totally inadequate".  You can view a copy of the draft regulations here.  Submissions on the draft regulations close on 31 January 2014.