21.05.18

Ways We Can Tell The Government To Not Drill & Destroy The Great Australian Bight

Olivia Burton

As if there’s not enough issues with global warming and wildlife preservation, the Australian Government has made another GREAT decision about the environment and is opening up the Great Australian Bight to drill for oil.

In the last few weeks, the Australian government released the area for offshore oil and gas drilling, which foreign petroleum companies will now bid on to drill. Understandably a country needs energy, which is why Australia should be looking to the future and investing in clean renewable energy.

Side note – BP pulled out of drilling plans in the area in 2016 for environmental and safety reasons.

fight for the bight

"More than 85% of the marine species in the Bight can be found nowhere else in the world. We must protect this pristine natural wonder."

The Great Barrier Reef 2.0

The Great Australian Bight is an enormous and pristine open bay, just off of the south of Australia near Tasmania (where the government also happens to be destroying the Tarkine forest). The area is a research haven, containing rare species and breeding grounds for whales, sea lions and other magnificent creatures. Beautiful marine species aside, it’s also essential for human survival.

fight for the bight

As a small fishing village, the area’s tourism and fishing livelihood, worth millions of dollars, relies on the bay having healthy animals in it. It also makes up 25% of Australia’s fish supplies, bye bye prawns on the barbie. Oh, we also need clean oceans to live, essentially it absorbs carbon dioxide and produces some of the oxygen we breathe.

More than 85% of the marine species in the Bight can be found nowhere else in the world. We must protect this pristine natural wonder. – Greenpeace Australia, 2018

fight for the bight

It only takes a short online search to figure out that off-shire drilling for oil is destructive for the environment and marine life, both short and long term. There have been multiple warnings from scientists in the media that an oil spill would be catastrophic for the area. Australian Marine Conservation Society states that Independent expert modelling shows that if a blowout and oil spill were to occur, the environmental devastation could impact as far away as Western Australia or the Victorian and Tasmanian coastline.’

Other companies are planning to use dangerous seismic blasts to find oil. These blasts are loud enough to kill a person and deafen whales. Countless other endangered marine animals, including whales and sea lions, are at risk from oil spills. – Greenpeace, Australia

Haven’t we heard this before? Well yes, it’s similar to the Great Barrier Reef, which has been fucked up (mass coral death), suggested to be from global warming and coal mining. Sense an exploitation and destruction pattern?

Let’s stick our middle finger up to the government and say

‘WE WILL FIGHT FOR THE BIGHT’

fight for the bight

How to fight

1. Sign the below petitions (of your choosing)

Australian Marine Conservation Society (this sends an email directly to Malcolm Turnbull’s office)

Greenpeace petition

The Great Australian Bight Alliance

2. Talk

Spreading the world as much as possible means that more people are aware and will get involved.

  • Spread the image above or this article across social media
  • Put stickers on cars and windows
  • Talk about it at brunch, dinner & your uncle’s birthday party

3. Invest in companies that care

Business’ have the power to create change and therefore, so does the consumer. Invest in companies that only invest in the future, which is renewable energy. Look at the social responsibility in a range of your investments, from clothing to your bank. B-Corp certification can help you in the right direction.

A great example is Australian Ethical Super, which only invest in renewable energy; ‘Divesting from our worst polluters has potential to sway public opinion and expedite strong government action to deal with climate change.’

fight for the bight

4. Volunteer

An international event just happened against deep sea oil drilling, however there are many more to come. Check out your local environmental groups to see if there are any events to highlight the fight for the bight, if not – start one!

You can volunteer to collect signatures, help raise funds or start a local movement. Volunteer here.

5. Donate

If you don’t have the time or energy to commit your time to the cause, donate to those that can. For more information & resources, go to the Great Australian Bight Alliance campaign page here.

“Nature is the salve for our souls. We owe it to everyone who comes after us and ourselves, to protect what little is left of wild nature…” – Dr. Bob Brown quote to Patagonia for ‘World Heritage Protection for the Tarkine’, 2018

Images via The Great Australian Bight Alliance

Olivia Burton

Olivia is an eco-writer, producer, science graduate & ocean enthusiast. After moving from London to Sydney, she found her love for the outdoors and recycled textiles, which led her to start writing about science and sustainable fashion. Olivia is really passionate about brands using fashion for good and innovation in the industry. She now splits her time between several not-for-profit organisations in communication roles. Olivia is also a Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and sits on the Fashion Revolution committee for Australia & New Zealand.