As the Central Coast and beyond prepares for an almighty change to our way of life, to our beaches and bushlands, by a further 41,500 new homes increasing our population by well over 100,000, plus $180m worth of mineral extractions per annum, a further disaster looms out in the ocean.
Asset Energy, supported by the Morrison Government, is preparing to conduct 3D seismic testing looking for gas or oil, with the significant potential of having rigs off our shoreline.
Not only is the 3D testing process damaging to the marine environment, Asset Energy Director, Tobias Foster, has recently stated that he did not agree that any lasting damage would be done to marine eco systems through the seismic testing.
This comment alone endorses that there may be damage during the testing and yet if any substantial deposits are found, then the damage will be through ugly rigs off our beaches.
Mr Foster’s comment that Asset Energy’s processes have to be accepted by the environmental regulator (N.O.P.S.E.M.A.) is like approving a paedophile to manage a lolly shop.
N.O.P.S.E.M.A. has a conflict of interest, as most board members either work for or have a long history connected to gas or oil companies, and certainly are not in the business of worrying about the interests of communities.
Disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was unlikely, states Tobias Foster, yet there are no guarantees or environmental bonds to ensure that if there was a disaster, that Asset Energy had the funds to remediate the situation, which could cost many millions of dollars.
Foster’s insistence that Australia must maintain energy security is effectively about he and others maintaining their jobs at the expense of the marine environment and the Central Coast resident’s way of life.
The Coast is honeycombed by extensive coal and mineral extractions over many decades and now the onslaught begins in our ocean.
The region is impacted by earthquakes and anything like the Newcastle disaster in late 1989 could see major problems for everyone.
Community consultation on the Central Coast has not occurred.
Newcastle had a drop-in session that divided the community and did not allow everyone to hear all the concerns.
If our Federal Politicians are unsure of the groundswell of opposition to seismic testing, they do so at their own peril.
Email, Apr 30
Gary Blaschke, Lake Munmorah