Oil and gas fields need to be returned to fishing industry
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Oil and gas fields need to be returned to fishing industry

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has said the de-commissioning of the Bass Strait oil and gas fields needs to ensure the areas are fully returned to the fishing industry.

Speaking in State Parliament recently, Mr Bull sought State Government support to achieve this outcome.

“What has transpired to date is that the companies involved have spoken about cutting some of these platforms and underwater structures off 50 metres below the surface.

“That of course does not allow for our commercial fishing nets to go into those areas, so it leaves that area unfishable from a commercial perspective.

“What I am seeking from this government and the Minister who has responsibility for this sector, is for them to work with their federal government counterparts to return this area to a commercial fishing ground, as it was before the oil and gas industry commenced in Bass Strait.

“The industry is under additional pressure at the current time from potential wind farm development in Bass Strait – and what transpires there, we will find out probably over the next decade, but this is an issue we need to look at now.

“It is such an important industry not only for the East Gippsland economy but for the Victorian economy.

“It has the biggest throughput of seafood of any port in this state, and it is amongst the highest in Australia, so you can imagine the impact that has to our Victorian economy.

“We need to look after those commercial fishermen and I seek the full Parliament’s support to achieve that,” he said.

Caption: State MP for Gippsland East, Tim Bull (pictured at Lakes Entrance Fishermen Limited), is calling for the de-commissioned oil and gas fields to be fully returned to the fishing industry.

Monday, 13 November 2023