Hundreds of people are expected to join Hands Across the Sand at Umina on Sunday, May 5, opposing seismic blasting planned to detect oil or gas off the NSW coast.
It will be conducted under Petroleum Exploration Permit (PEP 11) for 4500 square kilometres off the coast between Newcastle to Manly.
Founder of community group Save Our Coast (Stop Seismic Testing), Dr Natasha Deen, said the seismic blasting for oil or gas has been imposed by the Federal Government without adequate community consultation, despite opposition from the NSW State Government, and despite opposition from Newcastle, Central Coast and Northern Beaches councils.
Protesters plan to hold hands the length of the beach to symbolise defending the coast from offshore oil and gas.
“We have 43,000 signatories on petitions, a diverse and growing chorus of voices, all opposing this flawed plan for our beautiful coast,” Dr Deen said.
She said seismic blasting consists of underwater airgun blasts every few seconds continuously for 24 hours, for days or weeks on end and is used to locate drilling targets for the planned gas field. (3D seismic testing involves multiple airguns detonating simultaneously).
Scientific evidence showed the devastating impact that seismic blasting has on the marine ecosystem.
She said it was known to kill plankton over one kilometre away, cause malformations in scallops, and harm marine life including turtles, penguins, dolphins and whales, impacting on the entire environment.
“It is unconscionable to subject our marine life, our living ocean to this harm from seismic blasting
for oil and gas, when we should be transitioning away from fossil fuels that damage our climate,
our environment and the places we love,“ Dr Deen said.
Dr Deen said the community was invited to join Save our Coast at Hands Across the Sand, “a peaceful family friendly event” held at Umina Beach, on Sunday, May 5, at noon.
Media Release, 26 Apr 2019
Natasha Deen, Save Our Coast