Bight meeting welcomed
I read an article in last Thursday’s Port Lincoln Times with regard to people in favor of the Great Australian Bight drilling program being very quiet and that there has been very little or no comments from those people.
I make it no secret that I am in favor as the offshore oil and gas industry has been my life for more than 20 years.
I can however tell the people of the West Coast that it is not a pleasant position to be in.
If you are not one of the anti-Bight brigade you most certainly need a very thick skin and the ability to hold back, some of these people should be lucky that I am mature enough to take the abuse.
The ignorance and arrogance of those who refuse to accept any information or defamation of their beloved eco-warrior, non-government-funded foundations, and that it may be a good thing for the area in the future.
Some of these very same people have made threats to me of physical harm both on social media and on the street.
I was confronted at Coles after being at the chemist and spat at for my views by one person.
This is why people do not speak up.
I know that this is not normal for the decent people of Port Lincoln, a town that I have grown up in and of which my family have lived for generations.
I myself do not want to see an oil spill either. However, I am lucky enough to have an extensive knowledge base with the offshore operational industry that allows me to have a positive opinion and views.
If these same people would only talk to workers in this industry they would find out that it is not all the Deep Water Horizon any more than it is MH-30 when flying.
I welcome the council’s stance on an open meeting for all to listen and maybe have a say so that we can all be informed
So for those that are in favor or even sitting on the fence don’t be scared by these individuals and speak up.
No reason to risk clean seas
The front page report on of the Port Lincoln Council meeting on Monday June 18, Meeting for Bight debate, was commendable and covered the proceedings accurately.
I cannot say the same for the editorial however, which showed a complete misunderstanding of the context, and needs to be addressed.
How extraordinary to suggest that those who support drilling are fearful of a “backlash".
When I first got involved with this issue about 18 months ago I was accused in this paper of being a member of the "lunatic fringe, devoid of intelligence" by a prominent member of the the fishing community, because I dared to raise concerns about the environment.
Since then, as further research has continued to show what a ludicrous proposition it actually is to drill for hydrocarbons in such rough conditions, members of the fishing and tourism industries have begun to speak out, despite the animosity towards them for doing so.
As I was recently collecting petitions I can vouch for the fact that there are indeed those who will not go public about their concerns for this appalling risk to their livelihood because of fears of a "backlash."
Of course the council needs to hear all sides, but I would be surprised if any councillor had not already heard them by now.
What possible information can there be that would make risking our clean seas okay? Seafood Capital of Australia?
So please "quiet majority"; bring your concerns to the special council meeting so that our council may indeed represent the wishes of the people, and stand united with the other councils who have also examined all sides and voted to oppose all exploration and drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
I would like to respond to SA Water and The Department of Water and Natural Resources’ claims in last week’s Port Lincoln Times re the new Elliston town supply bore on Bramfield Hill.
DEWNR have refused to communicate with me in writing (contrary to the Public Sector Act 2009).
SA Water has been polite but very economical with the information they provide.
The SA Water bore has been sunk in an Environmental Protection Zone.
The Water Allocation Plan (WAP) requires proof, to the satisfaction of the water minister, that the proposed bore “will not detrimentally affect the groundwater dependent ecosystem (GDE)”.
The GDE in question here is the Elliston ‘mad mile’ swamp.
Has the minister been satisfied? How can he be?
There is no data except for rising salinity in the existing bores.
How can we be sure that the reported lead (Pb) in Elliston’s town water supply hasn’t been treated with the same contempt as the WAP?
Lift your game DEWNR.
Wads of public money were quite rightly thrown at the WAP.
What is the point if it is just ignored for SA Water’s convenience?
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