New oil spill risk plan still shows potential disaster for King Island

A new Environment Plan from international energy company, Equinor, released today, shows that a spill in the Great Australian Bight could totally envelop King Island.

The modelling has been released after a leaked document from the same company on the same drilling site in November of last year showed the potential catastrophic impact of an oil spill.

The draft environmental plan was published ahead of submission for assessment by the regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

“This modelling doesn’t offer the fishermen and industries of King Island any comfort – it shows that a major spill could envelop King Island, devastating local jobs and the ecology of surrounding areas,” Said Leanne Minshull, Director, The Australia Institute (Tasmania).

“Despite the oil well and the supposed profits being in South Australia, the potential damage to Tasmania is significant.”

The Australia Institute sought comment from affected stakeholders (SEE BELOW) including the Tasmanian Abalone Council:-

The Tasmanian Abalone Council (TAS) has taken note of the modelling associated with the ‘Worst Credible Case Discharge’ and applied the outcomes to the Tasmanian abalone fishery.  Such an event has the potential to severely damage a large proportion of a very valuable fishery worth well over $150m annually to the State.  The reef areas in question are in remote areas making a clean-up extremely difficult with the potential for long-term effects to be felt for years after the event.  The Tasmanian Abalone Council will be lodging a submission to the consultation process.

“We don’t want oil rigs in the Great Australian Bight the risk is simply too great! That whole area is an invaluable fishery that must be protected”.

Craig Garland

Fisherman, NW Coast

“No fisherman would even want to contemplate such a disaster, the waters around King Island are an incredible valuable fishery and we need to employ the precautionary principle if it’s too much of a risk don’t do it!”

Matthew Morgan, Cray Fisherman, Stanley

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