The Victorian Greens have joined hundreds of community members in a paddle-out off Warrnambool to oppose seismic blasting and fossil fuel extraction in the Otway Basin.
The Greens say until the Victorian Labor Government bans oil and gas exploration off Victoria’s coast, the state’s precious waterways and marine life will be at risk of irreparable harm.
On Sunday, Victorian Greens MLC for Western Victoria Sarah Mansfield and Deputy Leader Ellen Sandell joined community calls to block two major seismic blasting projects from big tech companies CGG and TGS.
Along with organisers from OCEAN, Surfrider and Australian Marine Conservation Society, Ms Mansfield and Ms Sandell both paddled out from the Warrnambool breakwater on surfboards and gathered around a large, floating ‘stop seismic blasting’ banner.
They also addressed the rally, calling for the protection of our coastal ecosystems from all new fossil fuel projects.
Community opposition has centred on the negative local and global impacts of seismic blasting, while no public benefit can be expected from the projects.
The damage to our environment from such projects is twofold: the impact on marine life, and the global heating effects that are a direct consequence of fossil fuel extraction.
The Greens are proud to stand with the First Nations people and alongside thousands of regional Victorians who are determined to conserve our oceans and our climate for future generations.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens MP for Western Victoria, Dr Sarah Mansfield:
“The resounding message from community members I’ve heard from in Western Victoria has been that seismic blasting is not wanted here.
“The exploitation and destruction of our marine environment by massive corporations like Conoco Philips, CGG, TGS and SLB is against the public interest and the public will, but the Victorian Government remains silent.
“The Greens will continue to stand with coastal communities to protect our oceans and climate.
“We call on the Victorian Labor Government to ban oil and gas exploration off Victoria’s coast.”
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“It’s outrageous that both Federal and Victorian Labor Governments support new gas drilling in our oceans, including seismic blasting which can devastate wildlife.
“Labor must listen to coastal communities and Traditional Owners and ban seismic blasting and new offshore fossil fuel projects.”