Tasmanian Greens Senators Peter Whish-Wilson and Nick McKim have expressed dismay at NOPSEMA's approval of oil and gas exploration in the Otway Basin.
NOPSEMA this week approved 3D Oil’s application to undertake seismic testing 18km west of King Island (Tas) and 56km south of Cape Otway (Vic).
Senator Whish-Wilson said, "This decision means we are one step closer to seeing oil rigs off Tasmania's coast.
"This is madness. King Island has some of the most pristine waters in the world.
"Tasmania’s entire tourism and fishing industries depend on our clean and green reputation. Yet the major parties, who take millions in donations from multinational oil and gas companies, are prepared to open up a whole new area for drilling and risk oil spills across the entire coastline.
"Seismic testing is also a threat to the health of our oceans. It has been shown to kill plankton and shellfish. But just how much harm it does to other marine life, including dolphins and whales, is unknown.
"The Greens will stand up for fishers and coastal communities in Tasmania and around the country. That’s why we have drafted a Private Members’ Bill to ban all new offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction to be introduced in the new parliament."
Senator Nick McKim said, "In the face of a climate emergency we must say no to all new oil and gas.
"A report released last month by international NGO Global Witness found that the opening up of any new oil and gas fields is incompatible with the Paris climate agreement.
"Without a commitment to no new coal, oil or gas, no government can be taken seriously on climate action.
"The approval of oil and gas exploration off King Island should serve as a reminder to Australian voters on Saturday that both major parties are not serious about climate change or our precious environment, and that the big oil and gas donors call the shots in our parliament.
"The Greens want Tasmania and Australia to be leaders on tackling the climate emergency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."