The Greens have called out the NSW Government’s benign opposition to an offshore gas field proposal off the coast of Newcastle, the Central Coast and Sydney’s Northern Beaches after MEC Resources reported to the Stock Exchange it will seek approval to test for gas before the state election.
Recent activities by MEC Resources show the company is pushing ahead with the project to drill for gas off the NSW coast. Under the cloak of a New Year’s Eve announcement, MEC Resources released a shareholder statement providing the 2D seismic survey results had been returned positively and the project ‘remains highly prospective’.
Alarmingly, the results from the 2D seismic survey found additional gas resources to what was originally anticipated. The statement concluded that the project is on track for more testing, with the proposal for 3D seismic testing to be released before the end of March this year.
NSW Greens Marine Spokesperson Justin Field said, “The NSW Government’s benign objection to the project has fallen on deaf ears. MEC Resources are pushing ahead with this project and unless the NSW Government acts we will have a gas field off the NSW coast in no time.
“The lack of action by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian shows that the NSW Government is prepared to stand quietly by while Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan turn the NSW Coastline into a gas field.
“The NSW community expects action from the state Government to protect the marine environment, commercial and recreational fisheries and the valuable tourism assets that are NSW’s beaches and coastal areas. If Premier Berejiklian is genuine in her opposition to the project she would take up the issue with her federal colleagues and make a public statement that no infrastructure for the project will be allowed on NSW land.
“No longer can the NSW Government be let off the hook for their mute opposition to this project that will allow our coast to be opened up to gas drilling and seismic testing that pose an unacceptable risk for ocean habitat, marine wildlife including migrating whales, and productive local fishing grounds”.