State Government Raises Spectre of OFF-SHORE DRILLING PLATFORMS

The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure has raised the spectre of Offshore Drilling Platforms for the Far North and Mid North Coasts of NSW in a Draft Marine-Based Industry Policy currently on exhibition for public comment until 17 June.

Extract from Draft Industry Policy.  Now why would the NSW government mention OFFSHORE PLATFORMS if they didn't have some plan in mind, for example the sale of the Port of Yamba owned by the Sydney Ports Corporation

Extract from Draft Marine-Based Industry Policy document. Now why would the NSW government mention OFF-SHORE DRILLING PLATFORMS if they didn’t have some plan in mind!

Once the Draft has been signed off and includes OFF-SHORE DRILLING PLATFORMS the NSW government will be in a policy and legislative position to approve future platforms no questions asked.
So who has been lobbying the government for such developments and who controls the offshore exploration rights?

And will it be limited to off-shore drilling platforms or will it include coal seam gas processing plants or loading facilities?

Department's page on the draft plan.   Both the plan and FAQs can be downloaded

Department’s page on the draft plan. Both the plan and FAQs can be downloaded from the government website

And how does the Port of Yamba figure in all this as a port for servicing such a platform or platforms.    The Port of Yamba is controlled by the Sydney Ports Corporation.  Remember, it sold off Port Botany recently.  Why not Yamba too!

Information received by VWD indicates that the Port of Yamba will be sold off by the State government after the Federal Election is over to private overseas interests and will become a port for coal export from the Gunnedah Basin and  Surat Basin in Queensland (and probably Richmond and Clarence Valleys) for Coal Seam Gas (CSG).

The CSG matter is not over yet why otherwise would Richmond Valley Council have high on its agenda for the future of Richmond Valley Council in its Draft Community Strategic Plan its Positioning Statement on Coal Seam Gas.

Screen capture from Richmond Valley Council's Community Strategy Plan currently on exhibition for public comment.  Now why would Council include its fatally-flawed "positioning statement" on coal seam gas at the top of the list of priorities when it is telling us that the gas industry is 'dead and buried' in Richmond Vallley!

Screen capture from Richmond Valley Council’s Community Strategic Plan currently on exhibition for public comment. Now why would Council include its fatally-flawed “positioning statement” on coal seam gas at the top of the list of priorities when it is telling us that the gas industry is ‘dead and buried’ in Richmond Valley!  You can bet it’ll be back on the agenda after the Federal election is over and council will be well-placed to say it has a clear and very positive mandate on CSG when nothing could be further from the truth.

So if you are in favour of Off-Shore Platforms by all means write a letter of support but if you are concerned that our precious coast will become another Gulf of Mexico or Australian Montara development at risk from oil and gas spills and other environment disasters then time to put your views to the NSW  and Federal governments and your local members.

Tell ’em you don’t want platforms wrecking our local environment and you don’t want the Port of Yamba sold to foreign interests, or for that matter, sold at all.  Why would we want to expose our precious marine environment to such risk?

 

 

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