James Woodford, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Environment Writer, reported (SMH, Monday 24th December 2001) “Conservationists in Australia have long been concerned about the impact of noise pollution on marine life. The Australian Conservation Foundation’s campaigns director, John Connor, said seismic testing by mining companies was of particular concern.” Mr Connor was quoted as saying “For the whales it’s like having a rock concert next door without any planning approvals whatsoever. All seismic testing and sonar equipment should have approval from the Commonwealth Environment Minister” These paragraphs followed the opening section of Woodford’s article linking whale beachings and death to sonar, explosions and seismic tests…… So, as well as being held responsible for non-existent greenhouse effects, plagues of locusts, nuclear weapon proliferation, the degradation of Australia, rampant pollution and the theft of Aboriginal lands and rights, we now have to wear the guilt for dead whales because glib smart-arses are too stupid or lazy to undertake the occasional reality check. Notwithstanding the intelligence of the average Herald reader, there will be a number of readers who can’t differentiate between the petroleum and mining industries and who, as a result of reading Woodford’s front page article, will have added another black mark to their tally-sheet against our industry. “Oh, the mining industry…….they kill whales don’t they?” It’s pathetic, it’s cheap, it’s effective and thus the ACF chips away.
27 December, 2001.