Contributed by Ben Wilson
Hundreds of attended the Across the Sands rally in at Brighton Beach near Adelaide yesterday [5 May], to make a stand against plans by Norway energy giant Equinor, to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
This is just one of the local community protests have have recently taken place in communities around the Bight’s coastline.
According to the company, the area could hols one of Australia’s biggest reserves of the furl.
The company released a draft environmental plan in February, which has raised the concern of many people. Reaction against the proposal is so strong that a delegation is on the way to Norway to confront the board of directors at their annual general meeting
According to opponents, drilling poses too great a risk for many unique species and the destruction of breeding grounds, from the real risk of oil spillage.
Others who make a living from fishing fear that their livelihoods could be destroyed., and the valuable tourist industry is at risk too.
South Australia’s director of the Wilderness Society, Peter Owen, told the rally that there are “unprecedented levels of community concern,” over drilling in the Great Australian Bight. Equinor is not the only company with an eye on it.
An added controversy is that Bindi Gove, who was once the chief of staff for former Labor minister Martin Ferguson, is now lobbying for Equinor. It raises the spectacle of former ministers and those close to them, who in charge of regulating Australia’s mineral resources industry, use this position to build future careers for themselves.
In anybody’s language, this is corrupt behaviour, which should have no place in a decent political system.
The fact that it’s allowed top go on speaks volumes and damns the rise of the lobbying industry in recent years. Energy are out there in the forefront of handing out favours to those who will do something for them and can offer contacts in the political system.
Campaigning to protect environmental sensitive areas, means coming up against the connection between polluters and the political establishment. The battle for the Great Australian Bight is no different.