The Great Australian Bight must still be saved

Photo by Michael Petroff: The Great Australian Bite

Contributed by Ugly

It is great to hear that the campaign to save the Great Australian Bight from deep sea oil drilling has achieved an important breakthrough.

This is a good example of what can be achieved when people get together for a good cause.

What do you know about the Great Australian Bight?

Video from Greenpeace Australia Pacific

This part of coastal Australia, at the bottom end of the continent, is one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, being home to more than 1200 species, including more than 600 types of fish, some of which are unique to this location.

This is a major home for sardine, anchovy and blue fin tuna. In addition to being a major fish breeding ground, it is also an important for the breeding of marine mammals like whales, dolphins and sea lions.

The Great Australian Bite’s nature sustains the fishing and tourist economies of local communities. The coastline, together with the limestone cliffs that border much of it, and the interior dessert landscapes along much of the length attracts thousands of visitors every day.

Great Australian Bight/Nullarbor Plain

Video from Mark Jager

The significant risk of oil spillage due to the drilling threatens it all. This is why local communities have been fighting so hard

Marine life in the sea floor holds an estimated 817 million tonnes of carbon. Destroying this marine life would release this carbon into the atmosphere.

Protecting the Bight is important.

Concerted campaigning over the last couple of years, the pressure put on certain corporations and investors put a halt into operations for now. BP, Chevron, Karoon, and Equinor have been persuaded to back off.

The oil companies still want in. They are waiting for an opportunity to move, and the Morrison government’s remains as determined as ever to expand oil wherever it can.

This is no time for complacency. The effort must be stepped up. Focus must be on winning a permanent stop to the drilling. Nothing short of a law that gives the great Australian Bight permanent protection will do.

Supporters of the campaign to achieve this can chip in. Funds are needed. Donations can be made to Greenpeace.

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