Greens Senators Richard Di Natale, Nick McKim and Peter Whish-Wilson will today join Tasmanian surfers in calling for a ban on oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight.
Senator Di Natale said, "Today we’re standing with surfers and other oceangoers in saying no to oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight.
"It's just not worth the risk to our marine environment and to our climate.
"The fossil fuel era is coming to an end. This means companies are chasing the last oil and gas into deeper and more dangerous waters than ever."
Tasmanian Greens Senator Nick McKim said, "Modelling has shown that an oil spill from the Bight could travel thousands of kilometres, even as far as Tasmania.
"The emergency response times to a spill would be much longer due to the remoteness of the Bight.
"This poses an enormous threat to a pristine marine environment that should be under World Heritage Protection."
Greens Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, said, "Despite the danger to our marine life and our climate, the major parties can’t get enough of it and are running a protection racket for the industry.
"Last year, they voted against the Greens attempt to hold a senate inquiry into seismic testing.
"Seismic testing involves continuous blasts from an air gun that are louder than a jet engine and can go on for weeks on end. Just how much harm it does to other marine life, including dolphins and whales, is unknown.
"The Federal Government has a responsibility to protect Australia’s oceans and marine life, and to take the strongest possible action to protect future generations and prevent dangerous climate change."
A new report by Global Witness showed that the opening up of any new oil and gas reserves is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement.
The Greens would:
- Ban all new offshore oil and gas exploration, including a ban on seismic testing.
- Ban all new offshore oil and gas extraction.
- Stop all oil and gas exploration and extraction in marine parks and in the Great Australian Bight, including by revoking existing permits.
The Greens' Healthy Oceans policy can be found here.