Highlands & Islands MSP in challenge to Port Authority

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John Finnie MSP with protesters outside the Scottish Parliament at the height of the campaign against ship-to-ship oil transfers

Cromarty Firth Port Authority must cancel oil transfers and move to better accountability, says Scottish Greens’ Rural Communities spokesperson, Highlands & Islands MSP John Finnie.

“News of a potential jobs boost at Invergordon shouldn’t distract from the Cromarty Firth Port Authority’s disastrous plans for ship-to-ship oil transfers and the body’s lack of accountability”, he said.

The Scottish Greens’ Rural Communities spokesperson has written to the Port authority, welcoming news of quayside expansion in light of the recent award of a major offshore windfarm contract, noting that this builds on oil and gas decommissioning work secured earlier this year.

Mr Finnie says that such “positive, future-looking developments” should prompt the authority to reconsider proposals for the potentially disastrous practice of ship-to-ship transfers of oil in the Cromarty and Moray Firths. As previously reported on insideMORAY, those plans have galvanised opposition from communities around the firths.

The MSP also highlights the arcane nature of the CFPA, controlled by an independent board not accountable to any public authority. It was set up in 1973 by an Act of Parliament to support the oil and gas industry.

The Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands said: “I’m sure the CFPA are aware how welcome it would be in local communities to cancel the oil transfer plans. It would give a clear sign to potential future investors that the port wishes to be associated with the just transition to a low carbon economy and all the benefits that will bring.

“It is also important that we bring transparency to this body. Given the contribution of significant sums of public money, a review of governance arrangements is the least the CFPA could agree to. It has been a highly secretive organisation to date, and is certainly viewed by local communities as a law unto itself.”