Commentary by Jeff Hansen:

Almost a year ago, to the day, you helped Sea Shepherd and all members of the Great Australian Bight Alliance achieve victory, when BP decided not to drill for oil in the Bight.

Chevron has also joined BP and ditched its plans too!Despite BP’s withdrawal, community opposition to Bight drilling kept growing but I am excited, relieved and hopeful to learn that Chevron has quit their Bight Operations.

Having personally visited the Bight on Operation Jeedara I had the chance to experience not only its pristine waters, but also its treacherous seas. 

The risk of spills in the area was completely unviable when it could not produce an acceptable drilling plan for Australia’s offshore oil and gas regulator, NOPSEMA.  

Every Australian should be concerned about the threat to the Bight as oil spill modules show a real danger that any potential spill could also impact the southern coastlines of not only South Australia but Western Australia, Victoria, southern New South Wales and Tasmania. 

The Great Australian Bight’s pristine waters are a haven for 36 species of whales and dolphins, including the world’s most important nursery for the endangered Southern Right whale as well as many humpback, sperm, blue and beak whales.

Southern Right Whales: Two mum and calf pair photographed in the Great Australian Bight whilst on Operation Jeedara in South Australia in 2016. Photo: Eliza MuirheadSouthern Right Whales: Two mum and calf pair photographed in the Great Australian Bight whilst on Operation Jeedara in South Australia in 2016. Photo: Eliza Muirhead

It’s also Australia’s most important sea lion nursery and supports seals, orcas and giant cuttlefish. Our good friend and Former Australian Greens leader, Dr Bob Brown says it’s one of the most intact natural ecosystems left on earth.

We should be proud of that, and protect it. Rather than expanding the fossil fuel industry we should quickly transition away from it – the only hope, we believe, for a liveable climate for our children.

Due to your incredible support we were able to widely screen our ‘Jeedara – The film’ not only at home, but also in Hollywood in the United States, which no doubt helped influence US-based Chevron’s decision to no longer drill for oil in our Bight.

Statoil, the Norwegian oil giant that picked up BP’s cast-off Bight project, should see the writing on the wall now that Chevron has also quit.

Our Fight for the Bight will continue.

 

Want to take action to help save the Great Australian Bight? View our latest Operation Jeedara brochure to find out how you can get involved.

 

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