Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
Greens target Bass Strait gas drilling

The Greens say they will demand a ban on offshore gas drilling in Bass Strait if they secure the balance of power at the May 21 federal election.

May 2, 2022

The Greens will demand a ban on new fossil fuel projects in Bass Strait if they secure the balance of power at the federal election.

The party wants a freeze on offshore gas exploration, including ConocoPhillips and 3D Oil’s proposed drilling northwest of Tasmania, near King Island.

“To reach even the weak target of net zero by 2050, not one single new coal, oil or gas project can be built,” Greens leader Adam Bandt said on Monday.

Mr Bandt said the 3D Oil project had the potential to release 545 million tonnes of carbon dioxide if the estimated 10 trillion cubic feet of gas in the permit area was burned.

“More pollution than all of Australia emits for a whole year,” he said.

“The people of Tasmania don’t want it, it endangers fisheries and coasts and it totally fails the climate test”.

Mr Bandt called on the Labor and Liberal parties to commit to stopping the project.

“They need to pledge this prior to the election so Tasmanians know where they stand,” he said.

In February, the Morrison and NSW governments rejected a proposal to drill for gas in NSW waters off Manly and Newcastle following significant community opposition to the project.

Labor also supported rejecting the exploration permit.

“If opposing a fossil fuel project due to community consensus was good enough for progressive NSW electorates then it’s good enough for Tassie,” Greens Senator for Tasmania Peter Whish-Wilson said.

“New Zealand, Greenland, Spain, Denmark, Costa Rica, France, Belize and Portugal have all implemented bans on new oil and gas exploration – there is no reason Australia shouldn’t do the same.”

ConocoPhillips Australia and 3D Oil’s exploration permit is located west of King Island and covers 4,960 sq km of the offshore Otway Basin.

ConocoPhillips Australia is the operator and holds an 80 per cent interest and 3D Oil holds the remaining 20 per cent, according to Parliamentary Library research.

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