One of the last, untouched, pristine environments on the planet is found in the south of Australia, the Great Australian Bight.
Majority state owned Norwegian oil giant Equinor has lodged an application to start drilling there, which is being described by activists as a totally unacceptable risk to the environment, the tourism sector and fisheries sector of South Australia.
I didn’t know much about the situation until recently. For example, I didn’t know that there are species of animals in the Bight found nowhere else on Earth. I also learned that other oil giants such as BP and Chevron had given up the idea of drilling here in 2016 and 2017, citing that is was not commercially viable. The project is supposed to bring 1500 jobs, but it risks many thousands more. What I found most confronting is that Equinor, the oil company in the spotlight, states openly and prominently on their website about their concerns and action on climate change and renewable energy, and actively working to ‘benefit societies around the world.’ When several tens of thousands of humans in the society they are attempting to extract from protest that their proposed actions are detrimental, to what justification can they believe in what they say they promote.
Over the weekend in Burleigh Heads, approximately four thousand people gathered to protest. I joined journalist Eleanor Knight in documenting the event, and we are looking forward to bringing a larger, independent perspective look at the human impact story of the issue in the near future.
Photos to come…
(Full disclosure: I had a commercial arrangement with Patagonia Australia to take photographs of the event)