Constituency MSP praises community as online petition hits 100k mark

The constituency MSP for the Black Isle has praised the Cromarty Rising group after an online petition against at-sea ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth surpassed 100,000 signatures.

Kate Forbes MSP said that the grassroots campaign, opposing an application for at-sea ship to ship oil transfers, had made its voice “loud and clear”.

A petition from Cromarty Rising will be discussed by MSPs at a Holyrood committee next week, and Ms Forbes previously attended a rally outside the Scottish Parliament urging the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to reject the application for at-sea ship to ship oil transfers.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “I am passionate about small Highland communities' having a voice when it comes to decisions taken on their doorsteps - and Cromarty Rising have certainly made their voice heard loud and clear.

“It is incredible that over 100,000 people - and the number keeps rising - have signed this petition.

“Whatever the issue, and whatever the outcome, developers, planners and decision-makers must not neglect to engage with local communities and listen.

“I am not against ship to ship oil transfers per se - but in the right place, with the right scientific evidence and on both counts I feel that this application has not met the high standards that we should impose on any development in an area of national environmental importance.”

To mark the milestone, Ms Forbes has tabled a parliamentary motion at Holyrood. 

It reads: That the Parliament congratulates Cromarty Rising on their campaign against at-sea ship to ship oil transfers in the Cromarty and Moray Firths; recognises that surpassing 100,000 signatures for an online petition is a major milestone; agrees that the application from the Port of Cromarty Firth Authority has not provided sufficient scientific evidence to conduct at-sea oil transfers in an area of national environmental importance; further agrees that whatever the issue and whatever the outcome, developers, planners and decision makers must not neglect to engage with and listen to local communities, and calls on the UK Government to devolve powers to the Scottish Government as a matter of the utmost urgency so that issues affecting Scottish waters can be decided by the people of Scotland.

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