Oil Platform

The New South Wales Government’s decision to legislate a ban on offshore gas drilling is being praised by Greenpeace Australia Pacific as an important step in protecting oceans and marine life from the destructive effects of gas drilling, seismic blasting, and toxic gas spills.

State Treasurer, Matt Kean, said he will introduce a bill to legislate the existing Offshore Exploration and Mining Policy in New South Wales waters in the next session of Parliament.

Richard George, senior campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said the new law is important recognition of the destructive nature of offshore gas drilling.

“This new law is a win for marine life, but also for everyone who works in and loves the beautiful oceans off New South Wales – and now it’s time for other Australian states to step up and protect our waters,” Mr George said.

“Offshore gas drilling is catastrophic for our oceans. The gas extraction process involves drilling into the sea bed, conducting seismic blasting that can injure whales and laying hundreds of kilometres of undersea pipes, seriously disrupting fragile marine environments.

“The offshore gas industry has a terrible environmental track record, with oil and gas producers currently facing a $56 billion clean-up bill for the decaying decommissioned oil and gas rigs that they have left littered in Australian waters. These gas cowboys simply can’t be trusted with our oceans.

Mr George said that right now, it’s make or break for Australia’s oceans. 

“Gas companies are gearing up to drill in oceans all around the country, including Woodside’s enormous Burrup Hub project off the coast of Western Australia. Woodside wants to drill directly into a coral reef to extract gas so it can make a fortune selling it overseas. 

“We can’t afford this damage to our oceans, and it’s time for governments around the country to follow New South Wales’ lead.”

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