Thursday, May 6, 2010

New oil lease 83kms offshore from Margaret River,

SURFERS and conservationists are leading the fight to get the South West marine environment protected from possible offshore oil development.

The Surfrider Foundation and Conservation Council of WA have joined forces to organise a community rally this Saturday at noon at Reuther Park.

It comes in response to plans for a new oil lease 83kms offshore from Margaret River, in an area designated for assessment for future marine sanctuaries.The Greens have demanded the Western Australian Government give the south-west marine environment priority over oil development in the region.

An area of ocean, off the coast of Margaret River, was short-listed in the 2010 Offshore Petroleum Acreage Releases.

The area has also been earmarked as a potential marine sanctuary.

The Conservation Council has called on the Government to postpone a decision about the oil lease until a marine assessment is completed.

Greens' Senator Rachael Siewert says protecting marine life should be the Government's primary concern.

"We know this area has some very unique environmental features, we know it's important for whales," she said.

"Given that this area is being considered for marine protection, we believe that process needs to proceed before any decisions are made about oil and gas exploration."

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