The Great Australian Bight Alliance visits Federal Parliament this week as part of the continuing campaign to protect the Great Australian Bight. Jeedara - the film will be screened and broad range of MPs and Senators will be given detailed briefings on the current threats to the region.
"The Great Australian Bight whale nursery is a completely inappropriate 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 live-able climate," said Peter Owen, The Wilderness Society South Australia's campaign manager.
"To date, six councils across southern Australia have passed resolutions raising serious concern with proposed oil drilling, citing unacceptable risk to their communities. Risks to the tourism industry, the fishing industry and the pristine coastline. Governments must represent the interests of the people they are elected to govern for, not damaging fossil fuel companies - there is no social licence," concluded Mr Owen.
Jeff Hansen, Sea Shepherd Australia’s Managing Director, stated: “The Alliance are here in Canberra to represent the rapidly growing concerned citizens and communities that are deeply concerned about the threat of an oil spill in the Bight. Prior to BP ceasing their plans to drill for oil in the Bight, they released their spill modelling that showed a spill in the Bight could reach WA, SA, VIC, TAS and even NSW coastlines.
“A spill at the hands of Norwegian oil giant Statoil would be equally catastrophic, to the Bight, the communities and the $2.1 billion worth of tourism and fisheries jobs.
“When we took the Steve Irwin to the Bight back in 2016, one thing that was clearly evident was the despair, strain and stress the local communities were feeling at the threat of big oil in the Bight, a place they had not only grown to love since childhood, but their livelihoods depended upon it.
“The Steve Irwin’s 2016 expedition into the Bight was turned into an International award winning documentary titled Jeedara, in a bid to showcase one of the last big great marine wilderness areas left on the planet and what we could all lose if we allow big oil into the Bight. We can’t take Canberra to the Bight, however with this screening of Jeedara in Parliament, we hope to take the beauty, grandness and wonder of the true Australian spirit of the Bight to Australia’s capital," said Mr Hansen.
“About 85% of South Australia’s marine life is found nowhere else in the world. The Bight is also home to one of the world’s most significant southern right whale nurseries, not to mention sperm, fin, minke and endangered blue whales,” continued Mr Hansen.
“If the Australian Government will not tackle the Japanese whaling fleet off Antarctica, the very least they can do is put an end to the madness of drilling for oil in the pristine, yet remote, deep and treacherous waters of the Bight," Mr Hansen stated.