March 27, 2018: Plans to conduct seismic testing in the region between Sydney and Port Stephens are fatally flawed and must be suspended pending a full review, Greenpeace says.Greenpeace Australia Pacific last week lodged a complaint with the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSEMA) and Asset Energy objecting to Asset Energy’s approved Baleen 2D HR seismic survey on the grounds it had failed to consult key stakeholders including the whale watching industry and had ignored justifiable requests made by commercial and recreational fishers.

“Once again the government is putting oil and gas industry interests ahead of the environment and jobs in industries that rely on a healthy ocean, like fishing and tourism,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle, said.

“The company behind this flawed plan for seismic testing never sought comment from the whale watching industry which operates inside the survey area and knocked back the requests of fishers who’ve been working off this coastline for generations.

“Given the growing objections from local industries, conservation groups, and the community NOPSEMA must immediately place a hold on the activity until a review of the environment plan can be conducted and all relevant persons have been consulted.”

The seismic testing consists of concentrated blasts of air being detonated every few seconds for days at a time, 24 hours a day, and will take place in an area that is home to at least 22 threatened species, seven of which are endangered and three critically endangered, is permitted during whale watching season, and crosses over important commercial and recreational fishing spots.

Since the testing was approved by NOPSEMA the plan has been criticised by the NSW Resources Minister, Don Harwin, and Newcastle City Council, who voted unanimously to oppose off-shore testing.

Last Sunday more than 600 community members gathered at Nobby’s Beach to protest the testing and both tourism operators and the NSW Professional Fisherman’s Association have stated their objection to the plan. “There is a growing chorus of voices calling for this testing to be stopped including commercial fishermen, tourism operators, Liberal state politicians, as well as conservation groups and the local community” Pelle said.

“The only figure that thinks this is a good ideais Queensland-based Federal Resources Minister, Matt Canavan

For interviews contact:

Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner

0424 295 422 / [email protected]