Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
A request for the State Agriculture Minister to take action to protect the interests of the local fishing industry from the potentially adverse effects of a proposed marine seismic survey in Eastern Bass Strait, has been disregarded.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull recently used State Parliament to ask Minister Jaala Pulford to write to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority in support of concerns raised by the off-shore fishing industry.
Lakes Entrance is home to Victoria’s largest off-shore commercial fishing fleet. The Roberts Evaluation in 2014 found the direct output generated from the commercial fishing industry and related industries in East Gippsland to be around $35 million a year.
“The proposed 17,000-square kilometre survey makes this one of the largest surveys undertaken in Australia. It is equivalent to eight times the size of Port Phillip Bay,” Mr Bull said.
“Given there can be no guarantees the seismic survey will not adversely impact on marine life and in fact latest evidence suggests it does have an impact on marine life, its scale represents inordinate risk for the fishing industry.
“To manage this risk, the survey area should be reduced or broken into smaller sections and the survey of those areas conducted over an extended period of two-to-three years so that its effects on fishing operations can be progressively assessed and modified as necessary.
“I understand the company behind the project has no authority to extract oil or gas in Australia, but simply intends to undertake the survey with the intention of on-selling the results and I have sought clarification on this.
“While I have written to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority about these concerns, I am disappointed the Minister, with all of the resources available to her, has not made a similar case as I requested, to ensure that the interests of the off-shore fishing industry are safeguarded,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull is disappointed Victoria’s Agriculture Minister has not pushed for safeguards that respond to local concerns about the proposed marine seismic survey in Eastern Bass Strait.
Thursday, September 27, 2018