A mass seismic blasting program that is part of a search for gas in the Otway Basin could start within weeks, with conservationists worried about the impacts of marine life including the blue whale.
More than 30,000 made submissions on the proposal from energy data company TGS, with most of those against planned seismic blasting off the Otway coast.
Louise Morris from the Australian Marine Conservation Society said the pace of the project was also concerning.
“They propose starting in October this year,” she said.
“Which is also the beginning of the peak blue whale feeding times are, which are all through this proposed footprint.”
Ms Morris said the original proposed start was January next year.
It comes as ocean advocates are alarmed by the federal government’s planned expansion of the fossil fuel sector in the Southern Ocean.
The Albanese government has named the Otway Basin as potential site to bury carbon from fossil fuel projects.