South Coast environmentalists have taken great strides in protecting the Great Australian Bight (GAB) from oil drilling in the past year, forcing the exits of oil giants BP and Chevron – but the fight is not over yet.
With the might of the Great Australian Bight Alliance behind them, communities across the Fleurieu Peninsula have fought off international companies vying for space in the GAB to drill for oil.
After Chevron pulled the plug on its plans last month, the Alliance has turned its attention to Norwegian oil company Statoil.
Two thirds owned by the Norwegian government, Statoil has stuck to its commitment to drilling in the Bight, leaving the Alliance no choice but to fight it off.
Director of the Wilderness Society Peter Owens said the Great Australian Bight was the most iinappropriate place for risky deep sea oil drilling.
“Especially as we hurtle towards catastrophic climate change, actively pushing to expand the fossil fuel industry is the height of irresponsibility and not an option if we are to have any chance of providing our children with a livable climate,” he said.
“It’s a matter of the wrong place and wrong time in history… go home Statoil, the community doesn’t want you here.”
“What these companies are trying to do is simply wrong… we need to be pushing away from dependency on fossil fuels.”
To celebrate success of the campaign to date, the Alliance is bringing it’s Hollywood award-winning film to Victa Cinema on Thursday, November 30.
Mr Owens said the film Operation Jeedara was a celebration of the Unite the Bight campaign and the beauty of the Great Australian Bight.
“The film was shot while we were travelling the Bight on Steve Irwin and it really shows how amazing this part of the world is and just how much is at stake... it’s very poorly known and understood,” he said.
“We wanted to show a special screening here because this community has been very active on this issue and a big part of our campaign.”
- For tickets, head to fightforthebight.org.au