Media Release – “Hands Off Our Coast” say coalition of Newcastle ’s willing

A new coalition of concerned community members, environmental groups, industry groups and politicians has formed to tackle the proposed exploration and mining off Newcastle and Port Stephens coastlines Lake Macquarie councillor Phillipa Parsons and Newcastle councillor Michael Osborne advised today.

“Hands Off Our Coast or H.O.O.C has been formed because this threat to our marine environment, beautiful coastline, tourism and fishing industries is huge and neither the state or federal government seems capable of acting in the interests of the communities here,” Cr. Parsons said.

“A primary concern for H.O.O.C is the diversion from building an industry in clean, renewable energy. Why are governments wasting precious time and opportunities for developing green collar jobs in clean renewables? Why are our governments continuing to subsidise fossil fuel exploration and extraction when the technology is there for clean renewables – indeed the barriers are not technological but political.”

“The government is keeping the public in the dark about the full impact of gas mining offshore and is putting corporate mining profits ahead of the marine ecology and tourism potential of the NSW coast,” said Cr. Osborne.

“Do the public realise that this exploration will be paid for by the taxpayer as one of the many tax perks enjoyed by the big mining companies?”

“The governments know the potential environmental impacts of this offshore mining project are enormous. They know that seismic testing can disrupt whale migration, having an immediate impact on tourism. It creates a ‘fish desert’ in the area of testing, leaving commercial fishing operations without a catch for months,” said Cr. Parsons.

“Moreover, the risks of leaks and spills from the construction and operation of the platforms, pipelines and shipping would be an ongoing threat to marine life and water quality at our beaches.”

For more information contact:

Cr. Phillipa Parsons 0414 427 135

Cr. Michael Osborne 0439 442984

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