Greens Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, today comments on an inquiry hearing in which Tasmanian and Victorian fishermen describe 'troubling times' as their industry struggles in the aftermath of seismic testing by the oil and gas industry.
"What we heard today is that consultation processes have broken down, compensation schemes are still to be enforced, testing permit terms are set by the oil and gas companies themselves and there are huge gaps in research.
"This is incredibly concerning given that recently published research has shown unprecedented reductions in fish stocks.
"This is shaping up to be a David and Goliath stand-off with a handful of multinational oil and gas industry giants on one side and multi-generation local fishing industries on the other.
"It's distressing to hear the level of anxiety and exasperation from witnesses today that things are being allowed to continue as they are.
"In light of today's evidence and testimonials, I call on the Government to urgently look into the process in which seismic testing permits are granted and overseen.
"The Government needs to step up to address fishing industry concerns.
"Are they really willing to sacrifice one set of livelihoods over another?
"As a Tasmanian Senator, it doesn't sit well with me that outside interests could be given free rein to the detriment of local industries.
"We can't afford to lose valuable local industries at such a vulnerable time for us economically."