The Andrews Labor Government has released five new oil and gas exploration blocks in the offshore Otway Basin in state waters, extending from Port Campbell to the South Australian border.
Companies can tender for the five new blocks to carry out exploration activities. The closing date for applications is February 15, 2019.
Oil and gas drilling on the west coast poses an unacceptable risk to the ocean, the coast, and the local economy and environment.
This letter is for companies, local businesses and organisations to sign, to demonstrate their opposition to the drilling.
It will be delivered to all members of parliament, and used in an open letter to regional and state wide media.
Statement opposing offshore oil and gas exploration in western Victoria
The ocean offshore from western Victoria is wild, clean and inspiring. It is home to whales, dolphins, birds, and fish which rely on its pristine waters. It helps make western Victoria a great place to live, provides work for thousands of people through the tourism and fishing industries, and a place to escape and holiday for thousands more.
Now the Victorian government wants to open up oil and gas exploration offshore from Port Campbell through to the SA border. If these exploration activities lead to commercial production, it may include offshore or onshore drilling or a combination of both.
Oil drilling could have disastrous implications for people, oceans and local economies should an oil spill occur.
In 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, the United States experienced one of the world’s worst oil spills. The clean up still continues today. But the loss of life and livelihoods, the fate of tens of thousands of oil coated fish, birds and mammals cannot be recovered.
This must never happen to western Victoria.
The Andrews government did the right thing in establishing the first ever permanent ban on fracking in Australia. It’s time for them to do the right thing on offshore oil and gas.
We call on the government to cancel the tender process for offshore oil and gas exploration in the Otway Basin in western Victoria.