Ocean acreage release demonstrates why Labor cannot be trusted to meet its own weak climate target
Labor has made a mockery of its own weak climate target by offering up 46,758 square kilometres of new ocean acreage for fossil fuel companies to exploit in a time of climate emergency.
Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:
“It’s Christmas Day for fossil fuel companies who have just been handed a big dirty gift: more of our oceans for them to run roughshod in.
“Labor has made a mockery of its own weak climate target by offering up new areas of ocean acreage for fossil fuel companies to plunder, pollute and profit from in a time of climate emergency.
“We already have enough oil and gas in reserves to trigger catastrophic climate change to our planet. There’s no plausible excuse for Labor to put our marine ecosystems in jeopardy for the sake of a few profit-driven interests to drill for the exact same product that is killing our oceans.
“The Morrison Government stopped fossil fuel exploration project Pep-11 due to significant community opposition over it risking NSW coastlines and beaches. In opposition, Anthony Albanese also agreed that this project should be stopped.
“If opposing fossil fuel exploration due to community and environmental concerns was good enough for NSW, then it’s sheer hypocrisy not to do the same for coastlines right around Australia.
“When parliament was last in session I introduced the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Fight for Australia’s Coastline) Bill to the Senate. If passed, this legislation would set a precedent for permanently stopping destructive offshore oil and gas exploration in our oceans.
“New Zealand, Ireland, Greenland, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Costa Rica, France, Belize, Wales, and Portugal have all implemented bans on new oil and gas exploration – there is no reason Australia shouldn’t do the same.”
Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson for resources, Senator Dorinda Cox:
“Aboriginal people never ceded sovereignty to our lands, waters and sky. Like other nations, First Nations borders don’t begin and end at sea level. Sea Country does not belong to Labor, to sell to the highest bidder.
“The Greens demand that the Traditional Custodians of these waters be consulted and that any corporation or Government obtain their free, prior and informed consent before they proceed with their operations.
“Under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People: free, prior and informed consent is a human right. If Labor wants to hear the voices of First Nations people, they can start by listening to Traditional Owners fighting for the survival of their communities, culture and country.”