MPs have been told the decision making process in proposed legislation for managing offshore activities is not the right approach.
A select committee is considering a bill about the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf.
The legislation aims to strike a balance between economic development and environmental protection in those areas.
Sustainability Council executive director Simon Terry told the committee the bill only compares positive economic impacts to adverse environmental ones.
He says a better approach is to look at both positive and adverse economic and environmental impacts, to get the best net analysis.