The Greens have used the first sitting day for the NSW Legislative Council to call on the NSW Government to oppose oil and gas development off the state’s coast.
The Federal regulator recently gave the green light for Asset Energy to begin seismic exploration for oil and gas off Newcastle and the Central Coast. Seismic testing creates sonic underwater blasts that have been shown to impact on whales, other marine life and their habitat.
Greens MLC and Marine spokesperson Justin Field introduced the motion to the Legislative Council calling on the NSW Government to oppose offshore oil and gas development.
Mr Field said, “the idea that coastal waters off Newcastle and the Central Coast can safely be a future gas field is ridiculous
“The precious coastal waters off Newcastle and Sydney are no place for an oil and gas field, and even the exploration process is fraught with danger for migrating whales, local fisheries and the environment,” he said.
“The seismic testing will take place in an area recognised as habitat for 22 threatened species including whales, turtles and migratory birds and has the potential to injure fish up to one kilometre from the air blasts.
“The NSW Government should step in and revoke this licence. It’s not worth risking the health of the marine environment, our valuable fisheries resources and good local jobs for oil and gas exploration where the community will never accept a future gas field.
“Concerned community members will gather in Newcastle on 28 February for a screening of the Sonic Sea documentary followed by a discussion of the next steps in the campaign against an offshore gas field off the local coast.
“The Newcastle community has stood up for decades against the vested interests of the coal and gas industries on land, they will not not stand for their coastal waters becoming a gas field as well,” Mr Field said.
Copy of Motion below. Video of Notice of Motion available here:
Event Details: Sonic Sea Screening
What: Special Newcastle Screening with short talks by Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham and local activists.
When: 6.15pm for 6:30pm. Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Where: Regal Cinema, 4 Moore St, Birmingham Gardens, Newcastle
Tickets: $10 each. No booking required.
Media welcome. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
More details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1973216993005532
NOTICE OF MOTION
Mr Field says—
I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move:
- That this House notes that:
(a) last month, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority approved Asset Energy’s plan to begin seismic exploration for oil and gas deposits off Newcastle and the Central Coast,
(b) seismic exploration creates sonic underwater blasts that have been shown to impact on whale migration patterns, marine species and their habitat,
(c) the testing to be carried out by Asset Energy is in a highly prolific and valuable area to recreational, charter and commercial fishing industries,
(d) previous studies, including a recent study by the Fisheries Research Development Corporation, have shown that seismic surveys damage marine life,
(e) the impacts on the recreational and commercial fishing industries that operate off Newcastle and the Central Coast has not been adequately assessed,
(f) regardless of the finding of exploration activities, the Newcastle, Central Coast and Sydney Communities will not accept offshore oil and gas development.
- That this House call on the Government to:
- a) oppose oil and gas development off the New South Wales coast,
- b) work in consultation with the commercial fishing industry and the Asset Energy to conduct research into the impact the approved seismic testing off the coast of Newcastle and the Central Coast will have on the marine environment and commercial fishing.