9 Reasons Why Drilling for Oil in the Great Australian Bight Doesn’t Stack Up

1 // FACT. Equinor have already had 239 oil spills. We only have one Great Australian Bight.

Just one of Equinor’s serious incidents in 2007 saw nearly four million litres of oil spill into the Arctic waters north of Norway.

An oil spill would completely devastate the Great Australian Bight, but would only be a number on a spreadsheet for Equinor.

2 // More than 27,000 existing Australian jobs will be put at risk

We looked at the three states that are likely to be worst affected by a spill and found more than 10,000 jobs in South Australia, 9,000 in Victoria and 7,000 in Tasmania would be threatened.

From an employments perspective, the risks clearly outweigh the rewards, especially for the coastal communities that rely on a healthy ocean to survive.

3 // Economically, for Australia, drilling in the Bight just doesn’t stack up

Additionally, decades of subsidy may be necessary before the project provides even these small benefits to the State and Federal Governments.

Australia is being asked to shoulder all of the risk for this project while a foreign oil company hopes to swoop in and take all of the financial gain.

4 // In fact, the Norwegian Government stands to gain more than Australia if drilling goes ahead

“No matter how you cut it, this project just doesn’t stack up for Australia,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, Director of The Australia Institute, South Australia.

“Foreign owned oil companies are lining up to come into our precious marine environment, put it at risk and then make off with the vast majority of the financial gains.”

5 // The environmental impact is simply not worth the risk

The longest south-facing coast on Earth, the Bight is a marine environment of extraordinary ecological significance. It is a 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.

Nearly two in three Australians (65%) think drilling in the Bight would have a negative effect on the environment.

Operation Jeedara photo by Eliza Muirhead and Tim Watters of Fair Projects

6 // Equinor’s own modelling shows an oil spill could reach anywhere from Albury WA to Sydney’s northern beaches

7 // Why would we risk an oil spill just to unleash a carbon bomb that will only make climate change worse?

Drilling for, extracting and then burning new oil reserves is the complete opposite of what the world needs as it moves towards a renewable energy future.

8 // The Traditional Custodians of the land oppose it

“When I got up to speak at Equinor headquarters… I said, ‘consultation is important but none of the Equinor people came to talk with the Mirning Elders that hold the knowledge and custodianship of that Country’. I said, ‘you are not welcome in this country’ and they put their heads down in shame.” — Bunna Lawrie, Indigenous Elder of the Mirning people

9 // It’s not just South Australians who are opposed, in fact, most Australians don’t want it

Only one in five Australians, and a tiny 16% of South Australians, want drilling in the Bight. Meanwhile, 84% of South Australians want the Bight to be given World Heritage Protection.

Meanwhile, more than two in three Australians want to see the Great Australian Bight given World Heritage protection.

Also, half of all Australians think drilling in the Bight will have a negative effect on tourism (50%) and three out of five (60%) think it will negatively effect fishing.

Tell the Australian Parliament to protect the Great Australian Bight > Add your name to the petition

an independent think-tank based in Canberra > australia.org.au

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