Senate candidate and former NSW MP Lee Rhiannon says she will take her campaign to stop experimental offshore mining exploration to Federal parliament, following news that in mid-October Advent Energy will start exploratory drilling into the seabed 55 kms east of Newcastle (‘First gas rig headed for NSW coast’, Sydney Morning Herald, page 5 today).
“It is madness to allow mining companies to plunder NSW’s seabed and coastline,” Ms Rhiannon said.
“Advent Energy’s exploration license for up to 50kms from the offshore Sydney basin is the thin edge of the wedge.
“Today the company is targeting a site invisible from shore. Tomorrow residents up and down the coast could see big drilling rigs out at sea.
“Protecting tourism and the natural marine environment should be the priority of the Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett, not lining the pockets of mining companies.
“The government should have rejected outright the application but is caught up in the excitement of a gas field as plentiful as Bass Strait.
“In NSW the pattern is that exploration inevitably leads to full scale mining.
“Governments and mining companies go through the motions of environmental assessments but as sure as night follows day approval is then granted.
“There is plentiful evidence on the table already about the impact of drilling on whale migration, marine life and the potential pollution of our ocean and beaches.
“Minister Garrett should be examining the overseas experience carefully and move to preserve our much loved coast from destructive mining,” Ms Rhiannon
For information: Lee Rhiannon - 0427 861 568