An Online Petition To Stop Blasting For Oil Off Newcastle and the Central Coast

8 May 2018 21

Photo: Change.org

Photo: Change.org

COASTALWATCH | ENVIRONMENT

A Change.org online petition has been circulating social media this week in an effort to put a halt to any further blastings for gas and oil off the coast of Newcastle and the Central Coast.

The petition reads:

Oil and gas company Asset (Advent) Energy will commence underwater blasting for oil or gas off Newcastle on 9th April. 

This seismic testing will involve underwater airgun blasting every 3-4 seconds, 24 hours a day for 4 days.

Seismic testing has been shown to injure and kill marine animals and impede the communication and navigation of whales and dolphins. This exploration is in the whale migration path, and close to a thriving dolphin habitat. 

Advent Energy plans to proceed with oil or gas rigs off the coast from Newcastle, the Central Coast to North Sydney. The risk of an environmental disaster is unacceptable to the community.

We need you to say NO to this seismic testing, NO to an oil or gas field off Newcastle and the Central Coast, to protect our marine animals and save our coast.

A quick bit of background:

In February of this year, NSW Minister for Energy Don Harwin opposed the Turnbull government's extension of seismic testing for gas and oil off the coast between Newcastle and Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Harwin as saying: "Our assessment and performance requirements at a state level for onshore [gas exploration] are much, much more rigorous than the offshore requirements that the Commonwealth has in place." He added that NSW has "higher performance standards, wider enforcement powers and tougher penalties for non-compliance - all of which are significant differences between the state onshore and Commonwealth offshore positions."

The NSW Greens Marine Spokesmen also spoke at the time of the dangers this sort of industry work has on our coastal environments, saying, “Seismic testing poses an unacceptable risk for the health of the ocean, marine wildlife including migrating whales, and productive fisheries resources."

Then in April this year, the decision to allow the Asset Energy sesimic testing to go ahead was again criticised by the NSW government for not having the same "fit and proper person test" as they have on land.

The seismic testing covers 12.25 square kilometres, and involves the firing of a sonic gun over 208 kilometres of lines off the coasts of Newcastle, The Central Coast, and North Sydney.

A Facebook group called Stop Seismic Testing Newcastle has organised a protest for the date of May 19, 2018 at Nobbys Beach Newcastle as part of an international day against offshore oil and gas drilling. Further information of the protest can be found at their Facebook event page

You could sign the Change.org petition on the "Stop blasting for oil or gas off Newcastle and the Central Coast" page.

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