State Energy Minister Admits Opposition Seismic Testing

But says his hands are tied.

15 February 2018

Article heading image for State Energy Minister Admits Opposition Seismic Testing

State Resources and Energy Minister Don Harwin has confirmed the Berejiklian Government's opposed to seismic testing, to try and find gas offshore of the Central Coast and Newcastle.

The NSW Greens gauged the opinion, after The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority approved Asset Energy's exploration bid last month.

It's unclear what impact airguns shooting acoustic pulses onto the ocean floor - around 30ks offshore - will have on marine wildlife.

But according to the Minister, he lacks power to do anything to stop it unless he's got support from Canberra.

In a statement this morning, the Greens say Mr Harwin has also expressed doubts about Australia's current offshore mining regulations.

"Mr Harwin told parliament the NSW Government he wrote to Federal Minister for Resources Matthew Canavan opposing the extension of Asset Energy’s permit... in June," the statement reads.

"He said concerns were raised that the assessment and performance requirements for offshore oil and gas exploration were not as rigorous as those required for onshore exploration and extraction in NSW."

MP Justin Field says the Government now has no option but to campaign their Federal counterparts to reconsider the decision and review regulations.

"I'm calling on the Government to stand with the community. We'll have to campaign together against the Federal Government's support for this industry. The community won't accept an Oil and Gas Field off the Coast." 

"I expect them (the State Gov) to put their money where their mouth is and actually stand up to the Federal Government on this, and I'll be pressuring the Energy Minister to advocate on behalf of the community."

For those wanting to find out more about Sonic Testing, the film SONIC SEA is set to screen at Newcastle's Regal Cinema on Wednesday February 28th.

Listen Live!