Why are there no outcries about seismic testing?

[Forum] Weeks of walking the walk and doing the talk from Budgewoi to Davistown, left me wondering why Central Coast residents knew nothing of the Seismic testing for Oil/Gas off our beaches.

Novocastrians have been switched on for months, culminating in last Saturday’s Hands across the Sands rally at Nobbys Beach, where 400-500 locals held a passive protest, sending a warning to the Federal Liberal Government that they won’t tolerate it. The real threat of killing whales and dolphins through the seismic testing has been deemed as acceptable and as low as reasonably practicable by both Federal Senator, Mr Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources, and the expert and Independent Committee known as the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

The six person committee which approved the offshore testing has a history of all working for the oil, gas, mineral or petroleum industries, having what I believe to be a massive conflict of interest. Not one marine biologist, no tourism operators, no fi shing industry representatives, no environmental groups, no members of the public or local political representative, and certainly no community consultation. As if Coasties didn’t have enough to worry about with our land based environmental issues, such as the Mangrove Mountain debacle, the Wallarah 2 coal mine approval threatening our water supply, equivalent to 455 Olympic swimming pools of stored toxic Fly Ash at Doyalson, a four year University Cancer Cluster report indicating the Coast is 20 per cent above state average, and to top it off, PFAS found in the Tuggerah Lakes System.

What does one need to do to get Central Coast residents up in arms, as further 3D seismic testing is proposed off our local beaches? Where are our environmental groups, our surfers and the general community? Central Coast Council surveys indicate that the residents placed our Way of Life, our Bushland and our Beaches as the top three issues that meant most to them, yet where are they when it really counts, not to be found?

Email, May 20 Gary Blaschke OAM, Lake Munmorah