BREAKING: Norwegian company Equinor has dumped its plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
The Great Australian Bight is a marine environment of almost unparalleled ecological significance off the southern coast of Australia.
The Bight is an area of major cultural importance to the Mirning people, the traditional custodians of the land, a globally significant nursery for the endangered southern right whale and it acts as a sanctuary for critically endangered southern bluefin tuna, Australian sea lions, great white sharks, albatross, turtles, and seahorses.
Australia Institute research has shown that:
- More than 9,000 fisheries and tourism jobs would be at risk in South Australia alone from a catastrophic oil spill in the Bight, which could reach coastlines all the way from WA to NSW.
- An oil spill has the potential to wipe out Tasmania's wild catch fisheries - an industry worth around $200 million. That is before we think about the impact to Tasmania's tourism industry, which relies heavily on its clean and green image.
Now it's time for the government to pursue Word Heritage status for the Bight and protect it from drilling forever.
If drilling is allowed to go ahead, billions of barrels of oil are expected to be burnt, turbocharging global warming at the exact time we should be drastically reducing carbon pollution.
Australia Institute research has also shown that 60% of Australians and 68% of South Australians are opposed to drilling in the Bight.
We, the undersigned--
Call upon the Australian Parliament to protect the Great Australian Bight from exploitative oil drilling that will put at risk thousands of jobs, as well as huge swathes of the Australian coastal and marine environment.
We call upon the Australian Parliament to legislate to protect the Great Australian Bight from oil drilling and to officially begin the process of declaring the area a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Great Australian Bight is an environmental treasure of national and international significance. Allowing companies to drill for oil in the Bight would accelerate global warming by further increasing Australia’s carbon emissions, put tourism, aquaculture and fisheries jobs at risk and endanger an essential marine ecosystem that acts as one of the most important whale sanctuaries in the world.
It is time to protect the Bight and the regional economies that rely on a healthy ocean to survive.
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