Seismic testing off the coast of Kangaroo Island would risk serious environmental and economic damage at any time of year, says South Australian Senator Penny Wright.
Oil and gas exploration company Bight Petroleum this morning announced intentions to withdraw and resubmit an application to conduct seismic testing near Kangaroo Island to alter the proposed timeframe.
"Seismic testing involves shooting extremely loud blasts of compressed air through the ocean every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for weeks on end," Senator Wright said.
"This can cause injuries like permanent hearing loss in fish, dolphins and whales and disrupt vital behaviours like feeding and breeding.
"In recent years, almost every single major international conservation body has expressed concern about the impact of noise pollution on marine life.
"This area off the coast of Kangaroo Island is home to more than 20 species of whales and dolphins, including endangered Southern Right and Blue Whales which breed and feed in the area.
"It is simply too precious to lose and we cannot risk the dangers of seismic testing at any time of year.
"Bight Petroleum has expressed their intention to work with the tuna industry to avoid disruption there, but what about the impact on other industries, like tourism and rock lobster fishing?
"Although Bight Petroleum plans to release more information than has been publicly available to date, it just drags out this waiting process even longer.
"The Kangaroo Island community have been in limbo for 18 months and now the process starts all over again."