Friends of the Earth

Big win for Friends of the Earth

But Industry report misses two big points

The fossil fuel industry’s Centre of Decommissioning Australia has released a new report recommending government funding for a massive new industry in Western Australia, supporting a long-running Friends of the Earth (FoE) campaign.

The report, which was funded by the WA government, assesses various suitable locations in WA for a “Decommissioning Hub” for the “receival and dismantling” of most of Australia’s $60b legacy offshore oil and gas assets that need to be removed from the ocean and recycled.

In it’s 10th recommendation, the report says:

“It is recommended that Federal or State funding and loans are made available for infrastructure improvements to port facilities (and adjacent or service infrastructure) to better enable the establishment of the industry.”

FoE Offshore Fossil Gas Campaigner Jeff Waters said his organisation welcomed this admission from the industry.

FoE has been lobbying governments to fund worlds-best-practice, environmentally friendly decommissioning and recycling yards, with a departmental authority to supervise the activity, funded by an increase in the existing temporary decommissioning levy being charged to industry.

But FoE is deeply concerned about the fact there is very little or no mention of recycling and the problem of removing and disposing of thousands of tonnes of hazardous radioactive material.

“There is only one, brief mention of recycling in the entire report, and then it is alongside landfill as an alternative for disposal,” Jeff Waters said.

The Australian government says there is the equivalent of 110 Sydney Harbour Bridges worth of steel involved.

“Clearly CODA and its industry funders have not calculated the value of the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of perfectly good steel, or the carbon footprint of not recycling it all.”

“CODA needs to go back to the drawing board and include a comprehensive plan for recycling the myriad materials that will be made available in the process.”

“And then there’s the matter of the mysteriously absent hazardous radioactive waste issue,” Jeff Waters said.

“A recent industry-funded CSIRO report said that there were thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste included in the clean-up, but they didn’t include thousands of kilometres of radioactive pipelines.”

“Industry, of course, will have to pay to safely remove and indefinitely store this waste as well,” Waters said.

Key Facts:

Industry acknowldges funding will need to be raised

But no mention of recycling

No mention of radioactive waste issue

/Public Release.