BIG OIL DON'T SURF
Big Oil does not belong in the Great Australian Bight.
BP, when applying to drill for oil in the Bight in 2016, stated in their confidential environment plan that an oil spill in the Bight and the resulting clean up would provide a “welcome boost to local economies.” Even after destroying the coastline and the lives of local communities, they were still thinking in terms of dollars.
Unfathomably, the Australian Government granted the first exploration permits in the Bight less than a year after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig had exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, laying waste to the Gulf coast. The same company was now granted permits in waters twice as deep, waters open to the full force of the Roaring Forties, and waters home to one of the world’s last great pristine marine ecologies. What could go wrong?
Independent modelling showed a worse case oil spill in winter would spread along the South Australian and Victorian coasts, circumnavigate Tasmania, before making its way up the Eastern Seaboard. There would be oil on beaches for years at Cactus, Bells Beach, Shipstern Bluff and everywhere in between. Marine life would be devastated. Communities would be devastated. It would be Australia’s own Deepwater Horizon.
The Fight for The Bight is at a crucial point. After passionate opposition BP has pulled out, but now Equinor, a Norwegian company are planning to drill next year. If Equinor can be stopped there’s a real chance the Bight can be kept free from Big Oil for good. The Bight locals have taken the fight to Big Oil. It’s time for surfers around Australia to join the fight for the Bight.
Winter oil spill modelling c/ The Wilderness Society/Laurent C.M Lebreton MSc (Artist’s impression)