Monday, 12 March 2018

Rally planned against Newcastle seismic testing

BY LAUREN FREEMANTLE

A federal government decision to plough ahead with seismic testing off Newcastle's coastline has met with great opposition from the community, and they will make their voices heard this Sunday.

Seismic testing will be conducted by Asset Energy, which will see air gun blasts every 3 to 10 seconds continuously over three to four days.

It comes as the federal government moved to expand an oil and gas exploration permit despite objections from state resources Minister, Don Harwin.

Starting from 1pm at Nobbys beach, the Stop Seismic Testing Newcastle group will hold a rally against the move, amidst fears local marine life will be impacted.

It is understood 22 threatened species including whales, turtles and migratory birds will be put at risk if the tests go ahead.

Group spokesperson Natasha Deen says previous tests have shown seismic testing can be fatal for marine life.

"Seismic testing has been shown to be quite detrimental to whales and dolphins.

"Whales and dolphins are very acoustic creatures," Ms Deen said, "and these underwater airgun blasts have been shown to interfere with their listening, sound and communication.

"It can actually cause death and mass drownings in dolphins and whales," she said.

Greens MP Justin Field has overtly criticised the move, slamming the Federal Government's decision to override a NSW decision against the tests.

Image: The Herald. 

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