Public pressure continues to mount against the Bounty Gas project with Greens MP Sylvia Hale visiting the area tomorrow. Locals are concerned that the project will have no benefits for the community and will have many detrimental environmental effects.
Ms Hale will visit the area with Greens candidate for Shortland, Bob Phillips, as well as concerned members of the community and representatives from the Central Coast Community Environment Network.
“The community has asked me to visit the area because there are no perceived benefits for the local people, and there are many serious environmental concerns that have not been addressed,” Ms Hale said.
“There has still been no independent Environmental Impact Statement conducted. Bounty Oil and Gas and their hand picked consultants so far have conducted all environmental studies.
“The limited studies paint a picture of unacceptable environmental damage.
“There are many specific environmental impacts including heavy metal and toxic chemical water pollution that will result from the project.
“An industrial accident could have catastrophic environmental consequences,” Ms Hale said.
Greens candidate for Shortland, Bob Phillips said that the community was being sold out by the project.
“We can’t see any benefits for the Central Coast,” Mr Phillips said.
“Any jobs that the project creates will be highly specialised. Because there are no other similar projects in the area, employees will be shipped in from outside the Central Coast.
“What’s more, the Central Coast misses out on the economic benefits because the federal government will receive all the royalties from the project.
“Before any drilling begins, we need to be certain that that the oil and gas project won’t have detrimental effects on the community or the environment,” Mr Phillips said.
“The Bounty Oil and Gas project is subsidised through the federal Government’s 150% tax rebate for petroleum exploration.
“The Greens want to see fossil fuel rebates scrapped in favour of investments and research in the renewable energy sector,” Mr Phillips said.