The #FightfortheBight Heads to the Federal Court

Thursday, 13 Feb, 2020

Sea Shepherd Australia is proud to stand with The Wilderness Society SA in challenging the environmental approval of oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight in the Federal Court. 

On the 18th of December 2019, Australia's offshore oil and gas regulator, NOPSEMA, granted environmental approval to oil-giant Equinor’s controversial, deepwater and high-risk drilling plans in the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. 

As part of the Great Australian Bight Alliance, we are proud to stand strong with the Wilderness Society South Australia in challenging this approval in the Federal Court of Australia.

The Wilderness Society is being represented by the Environmental Defenders Office and Sea Shepherd may also be called to give evidence as part of the case.

Sea Shepherd Australia’s Managing Director Jeff Hansen stands alongside Great Australian Bight Alliance members Peter Owen and Bunna Lawrie. Photo: Bill Doyle
Mirning Elder Bunna Lawrie addresses the media in Adelaide about the legal challenge. Photo: Bill Doyle
Sea Shepherd Australia's Jeff Hansen, Mirning Elder Bunna Lawrie, the Wilderness Society's Peter Owen and Holdfast Bay Mayor Amanda Wilson. Photo: Bill Doyle

Equinor has refused to formally consult with key Indigenous groups, local governments and environmental groups, including those in the Great Australian Bight Alliance, and these omissions are key to the legal challenge.

The Bight is a culturally significant site for the Mirning People: the Traditional Custodians of the land and sea along the Great Australian Bight and they have failed to be consulted.

"My ancestors and I have looked after the whale, the land and the sea for 50,000 years. Equinor must consult with us."

Mirning Elder Uncle Bunna Lawrie

The Great Australian Bight is one of Mother Nature's rare and priceless gifts: a grand marine wilderness area with 85% of known species in the region found nowhere else on Earth. The Bight is known for having some of the roughest seas in the world. This, coupled with its remoteness means that there is no infrastructure to handle an oil spill. 

Endangered Australian sea lions, a southern right whale nursery and our pristine coastlines; a spill in the Bight will put all this at risk. 

Since 2016, we've been working to defend, conserve, and protect the Great Australian Bight from risky deep-sea drilling. We've already seen off BP, Chevron and Karoon Gas from the Bight. Now it's Equinor's turn. 

Join the #FightfortheBight

Spread the word by sharing the below video with your friends and family. Together, we can keep drilling out of the Bight!

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