The Fight for the Bight
is at a crucial stage.

The people of Australia and beyond have spoken up for the Great Australian Bight. Tens of thousands of people from all over the country have paddled out to protest Equinor’s intention to turn the Bight into a deep water oil field. Over 30,000 people wrote to the industry regulator formally opposing Equinor’s plan.

Industry regulator NOPSEMA have requested Equinor revise their environment plan and have given them 60 days to do so. Meanwhile the Federal Government’s Independent Audit into NOPSEMA’s consideration of exploration in the Bight has commenced.

NOPSEMA’s judgment of the revised environmental plan is expected to drop as early as September which is in line with Equinor’s plans to begin exploratory drilling in 2020.

The Fight for the Bight is far from over. We need to keep the pressure on Equinor and on the Federal Government. The Bight needs to remain wild and free.

Say NO to Big Oil by sending a letter to
Equinor’s CEO Eldar Saetre.
Take Action

National Day of Action

Join a paddle out on November 23

and say NO to Big Oil in The Bight

Find Out More

The Fight for the Bight
just got real.

Equinor has once again been forced to resubmit their plan to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. They have until November 29 to do so. The exploratory well, due to be drilled next year, will be the deepest offshore well in Australian waters and one of the most remote in the world. It is frontier drilling and there are no guarantees it can be done safely. Drilling this well will cross a line in the sand with not just those in coastal communities but all Australians. We’ve made it clear in our hundreds of thousands that we do not want our way of life risked by yet another profit-driven fossil fuel project. These projects are responsible for overheating our home planet and threatening a liveable future for all of us. We need to transition to cleaner, renewable sources of energy. Opening a giant oil basin in a pristine marine environment is an idea that belongs in a previous century.

The Fight for the Bight is not over, not by a long shot. The Bight must stay wild and free.

Say NO to Big Oil by sending a letter to
Equinor’s CEO Eldar Saetre.
Send My Email

Independent Examination of Equinor’s Environmental Plan

The Sydney Environmental Institute at the University of Sydney convened an independent group of oil and gas industry specialists with backgrounds in science, law and academia to examine Equinor’s plan in detail and make a special submission to NOPSEMA.

The group found: “Throughout its Environment Plan (EP) the operator, Equinor, has consistently made optimistic choices in order to convince the public and NOPSEMA that “it is safe” to drill Stromlo-1.”

Read the report in full here.

Independent Examination of Equinor’s Environmental Plan

Of particular note the submission cites:

• A failure to consult Indigenous organisations.

• A failure to consult with groups deemed outside an arbitrarily declared impact zone - a 40km radius around the Stromlo-1 well which is almost 400km off the coast in the middle of the Southern Ocean – despite their own spill modelling showing thousands of kilometres of Australian coastline potentially affected.

Independent Examination of Equinor’s Environmental Plan

Of particular note the submission cites:

• A failure to adequately consider safeguards for the 41 listed threatened species found in the Bight.

• A failure to quantify the “human, technological and financial resources” that would be needed to conduct an oil spill clean-up in the Bight.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

The climate crisis is not a forecast – its impacts are real, present and devastating. Communities and nature are both facing extinction and this includes our oceans.

In September 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered the Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. It reinforced the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the scale of changes to the oceans.

If we are to protect our oceans and marine life and ensure a liveable future for all, we must transition from fossil fuels. Equinor’s plans for the Great Australian Bight are too risky and threaten Australian coastal communities, economies, livelihoods and our marine environment.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

Changes in climate such as warming, acidification, oxygen loss etc are already disrupting marine species and ecosystems. These impacts extend to the communities who depend on them.

So far, the ocean has adopted more than 90% of the additional heat in the climate system and this is reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients for marine life.

Since 1982, there has been a doubling in marine heatwaves. If emissions continue to increase at current rates, warming events will be 50 times more prevalent.

Coastal communities that rely on seafood as part of their dietary requirements, may face risks to nutritional health and food security if fish populations continue to decline.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

“Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will limit impacts on ocean ecosystems that provide us with food, support our health and shape our cultures,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II. “Reducing other pressures such as pollution will further help marine life deal with changes in their environment, while enabling a more resilient ocean”.

The Fight for the Bight goes to Norway

In May this year, a delegation from the Great Australian Bight Alliance travelled to Norway to take the fight to Equinor’s doorstep. Patagonia ambassador and Bight local Heath Joske led a paddle out protest in Oslo and addressed the Annual General Meeting of Equinor. The Norwegian surf community has stood side-by-side with their Australian counterparts, and they took Heath on a surf trip to Norway’s Lofoten Islands where they have faced similar threats of offshore oil development from Equinor.

In May this year, a delegation from the Great Australian Bight Alliance travelled to Norway to take the fight to Equinor’s doorstep. Patagonia ambassador and Bight local Heath Joske led a paddle out protest in Oslo and addressed the Annual General Meeting of Equinor. The Norwegian surf community has stood side-by-side with their Australian counterparts, and they took Heath on a surf trip to Norway’s Lofoten Islands where they have faced similar threats of offshore oil development from Equinor.

The Head of the Bight

Heath Joske is a Patagonia Ambassador who lives, surfs and fishes in the Great Australia Bight. He knows that an oil spill in the Bight would ruin this pristine coastline and has campaigned strongly against Equinor’s plans to turn the Bight a dangerous, deep water oil field. In this short film Heath journeys west across the Bight coast meeting local fishermen, scientists, surfers and activists who’ve all spoken up loudly in defence of the Bight. Heath’s destination is the Head of the Bight where he meets the indigenous custodians, already displaced by the “black mist” of the Maralinga nuclear tests and now facing another threat to their way of life.

Heath Joske is a Patagonia Ambassador who lives, surfs and fishes in the Great Australia Bight. He knows that an oil spill in the Bight would ruin this pristine coastline and has campaigned strongly against Equinor’s plans to turn the Bight a dangerous, deep water oil field. In this short film Heath journeys west across the Bight coast meeting local fishermen, scientists, surfers and activists who’ve all spoken up loudly in defence of the Bight. Heath’s destination is the Head of the Bight where he meets the indigenous custodians, already displaced by the “black mist” of the Maralinga nuclear tests and now facing another threat to their way of life.

More on the issue

Steve Ryan

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Torquay, Victoria
Matty Hannon

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Yamba, New South Wales
Murray Fraser

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Manly, New South Wales
Che Chorley

Thousands of people rallied around Australia for the Great Australian Bight. The Fight for the Bight has become a surf and coastal activist movement the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen in decades.

Victor Harbour, South Australia

More on the issue