Fight for the Bight this Saturday, by joining the paddle out at Cosy Corner,Torquay Front Beach at 11am. It’s part of Saturday’s National Day of Action and follows a rolling series of protest paddle outs earlier in the year that drew tens of thousands of people to beaches right across the country. Communities all around Australia will take to the beaches this Saturday to protest a proposed deep-water oil project in the Great Australian Bight. The rallies are held in opposition to Norwegian fossil fuel giant Equinor’s plans to drill one of the world’s deepest and most remote oil wells out in our Bight. We don’t want oil spills destroying this precious habitat.
Local, Damien Cole of the Surfrider Foundation Australia led the initial round of paddle out protests in March and is coordinating Saturday’s National Day of Action. He tells us more, “What we saw with the paddle outs wasn’t ‘radical activism’; it was the people of the Australian coast drawing a line in the sand and saying No. These are coastal communities whose way of life is being threatened by a large fossil fuel company. The paddle outs had everyone from young kids to people in their seventies, surfers and non-surfers alike, and there was an incredible feeling out in the water. What we’ll see on Saturday is as much a celebration of Australian life by the beach as it as a protest against Equinor.”
Saturday’s National Day of Action will see over 50 rallies take place on beaches right around the Australian coastline between Exmouth in Western Australia and Townsville in Queensland. Coastal communities will gather on some of Australia’s most iconic beaches.
Equinor’s Environment Plan (EP) is currently being assessed by offshore oil and gas industry regulator NOPSEMA. The EP for the project was rejected for a second time on November 8, and Equinor were given a further 21 days to resubmit further information. If approved Equinor plan to drill an exploratory well in late 2020.
The proposed well site is 372km off the coast of Ceduna at a depth of 2279m. Equinor’s own worst-case spill modelling sees the potential for oil on beaches between Albany in the west and Port Macquarie in the east. When Equinor originally released their Environment Plan earlier this year over 31,000 public submissions were received by NOPSEMA against it. Over 20 local councils have formally raised serious concerns with the proposal. The Fight For The Bight has become one of the biggest environmental protests Australia has ever seen.
The Fight For The Bight National Day of Action is coordinated by the Great Australian Bight Alliance, a coalition of environmental, community and business groups. Details for the individual events for Saturday November 23 can be found at fightforthebight.com Come on Geelong and region, let’s Fight for the Bight!
Photo: Phil Hines Photography