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Senate Establishes Inquiry Into Seismic Testing

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 17 Sep 2019

Yesterday the senate supported a motion by Greens’ Healthy Oceans spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, to establish an inquiry into the impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment.

“This is an emerging issue that has united environmentalists and fishers.

“Oil and gas cannot be allowed to take over our oceans.

“We are facing a climate emergency that threatens the entire marine ecosystem.

“It is important that the senate scrutinise the evidence and understand whether the exploration for Commonwealth resources is happening at the expense of conservation and fishing.

“Seismic testing is at the forefront of a new wave of oil and gas.

“It involves continuous blasts from an air gun that are louder than a jet engine.

“Scientific research has shown seismic testing can injure and kill crustaceans, shellfish, and plankton.

“But just how much harm it is doing is unknown, including to other marine life such as dolphins and whales.

“The government has acknowledged that new research is important to understanding the broader impacts of seismic testing on marine ecosystems.

“But the government is not waiting for the results and is instead handing out seismic testing permits like confetti right around the country.

“I look forward to taking evidence from academics, environmentalists, fisheries groups as well as from resource companies and government regulators.

“The inquiry will report in May 2020 and submissions are open to the public.”
Terms of Reference:
The impact of seismic testing on fisheries and the marine environment, with particular reference to:

  1. the body of science and research into the use of seismic testing;
  2. the regulation of seismic testing in both Commonwealth and state waters;
  3. the approach taken to seismic testing internationally; and
  4. any other related matters.

Media Contact:
WHISH-WILSON - Fraser Brindley, 0417 557 477

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