Bight Petroleum’s proposal was released yesterday, leaving the Kangaroo Island community concerned about oil and gas exploration in their backyard and with only a handful of days to act, says South Australian Senator Penny Wright.
The mining company yesterday submitted a new application to conduct seismic exploration off the west coast of Kangaroo Island, following the public release of a number of documents last week.
“Now that Bight Petroleum has resubmitted their application, there is only a 10 day period for the public to tell Environment Minister Tony Burke that Kangaroo Island and its unique marine environment is simply too precious to lose,” Senator Wright said.
“The Australian Greens have always been concerned about the environmental consequences of seismic testing on the many species that live in the area, and we see nothing in the released documents to change that view. In fact all Bight has done is shorten the length of time for the public to comment on their proposal, which is extremely disappointing.
“Bight Petroleum’s new application has a timeframe of 1st March to 17th of May, which places the testing firmly during blue whale feeding, southern blue fin tuna migration and southern right whale breeding and nursing seasons. This is wholly unacceptable.
“The other great concern is the impact seismic testing would have on Kangaroo Island’s economy, which relies on tourism and fishing.
"The Kangaroo Island Canyons and Pool are home to more than 20 species of whales and dolphins, including endangered Southern Right and Blue Whales which breed and feed in the area.
“Bight Petroleum has altered their proposal, to the detriment of public consultation, but it remains the case that there is simply no safe time for oil and gas exploration near Kangaroo Island.”
“The Australian Greens will be looking very closely at these documents over the remainder of the consultation time to ensure this unique environment and the community of Kangaroo Island will be protected.”