House debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Statements by Members

Petition: Oil and Gas Exploration

1:39 pm

Monique Ryan (Kooyong, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

The people of the Colac Otway Shire in my electorate of Kooyong and of Victoria and South Australia have signed this petition in opposition to all seismic testing off the Australian coast, and for the withdrawal of those titles which have been already allocated. The petition has been considered by the Standing Committee on Petitions and it is in order. It includes more than 2,600 signatures. Seismic testing involves blasting the sea floor with a high-powered air gun every 10 seconds to map offshore oil and gas reserves. These blasts reach more than 250 decibels and can be heard for miles. They injure and kill marine wildlife, and reduce catch rates of commercial fish. Two oilfield service companies are proposing a massive area of seismic testing in the Otway Basin. These permits would allow seismic testing over an area that includes habitat for many commercially fished species, including rock lobster and giant crab. The fishing industry is vital to the Colac Otway community and its economy.

There is something gravely wrong when an area of seabed larger than Tasmania can be made available to overseas based firms for speculative seismic blasting before the Australian government has even considered whether fossil fuel extraction from those sites would be an appropriate. The people of Australia want no more fossil fuel projects off our beautiful coastline. We implore the government to protect our marine ecology and habitats.