Media Releases - 10 September 2021

New Seismic Blasting Inflicted On Northern Tasmania

  • Beach Energy approved by Morrison Govt for new seismic blasting site in Bass Strait

  • New seismic blasting site 57km north of Stanley & 75km east of King Island overlaps Boags Australian Marine Park

  • Local communities on King Island & Stanley oppose seismic blasting, fossil fuel expansion & condemn lack of information and public consultation

    A whale just off the coast of Stanley, seismic blasting has been approved 57km off the same coast. Image: Jeff Power.

Northern Tasmania is facing an onslaught of seismic blasting, with the Federal offshore oil and gas regulator (NOPSEMA) having just approved more seismic blasting in Bass Strait, this time by Beach Energy.

The seismic blast site is 75km east of King Island and 57km north of Stanley and overlaps Boags Australian Marine Park. The blasting can happen between Sept 2021 and Aug 2023.

“Northern Tasmania is under siege from oil and gas operators imposing themselves on our communities, bringing climate-wrecking fossil fuel expansion onto our doorstep,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania.

“These projects fundamentally threaten ‘brand Tasmania’. Tasmanians don’t benefit and many will be adversely impacted. ConocoPhillips, Beach Energy and the Morrison Government are treating locals like mushrooms, with little information and tokenistic consultation.

“Local communities are vocally opposed and know that their communities, marine ecosystems and clean, green, brand are being devalued. The fact is that these projects are Tasmanian PR disasters, being imposed on Tasmanians by the Morrison Government.

“Tasmanian Federal politicians have gone to ground on this. Their communities need protecting from these threats. Livelihoods are at stake.

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and the ALP’s Braddon candidate Chris Lynch have been clear in their opposition to this exploitation of Tasmania and its communities. We need to hear where other candidates and representatives stand,” said Mr Allen.

A sign warning of the impacts of ConocoPhillips seismic blasting. These signs aren’t present on King Island, which is much nearer the seismic blast zone. Image: Jeff Power

Recreational fisher from Stanley, Jeff Power, said that he was concerned about the impacts of Beach Energy’s seismic blasting. “Local fishers aren’t going to be happy if this impacts their whitebait and flathead catches. As well as the disturbance to the dolphins and whales migrating through this area,” said Mr Power.

“The coastal waters around Stanley and the Islands on the northeast Coast of Tasmania are prized fishing grounds for species like whiting and flathead and large numbers of fish are known to spawn in this area. Research conducted by Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) found a 99.5% loss in whiting catch rates after seismic testing in the Gippsland basin in 2019,” said Ally King of Surfrider Tasmania.

Tom Allen, 0434 614 323, Wilderness Society Tasmania

Ally King, 0488 400 791, Surfrider Tasmania

Jeff Power, 0439 635 935, recreational fisher from Stanley, NW Tasmania

Download a full copy of the Media Release, with additional comment and map of affected areas.