The Great Australian Bight is a marine environment of almost unparalleled ecological significance off the southern coast of Australia.
Companies are seeking permission to drill for oil in the Bight, with the Norwegian company Equinor leading the charge.
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.
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--
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