The statement to our leaders - "That oil exploration in our pristine oceans is simply not viable anymore, in a world desperate for alternative renewables and already concerned by ecological instability" - was heard in this morning's country-wide ground swell of protests.
The social media movement tagged #fightforthebight has today, escalated in a bid to preserve the heritage listed and unique wilderness areas of the Great Australian Bight which are currently under consumerist threat from foreign oil giants. Here, in the heart of the south-west amidst the breaking turquoise waves of the surf coast's iconic Yallingup Beach, numbers gathered to contribute to the thousands of people, fighting to keep oil drilling companies, like Equinor out of the Great Australian Bight.
Protests were held simultaneously at beach sites across the country uniting the belief that "action must be taken at a federal level, to preserve our beaches and our natural sanctuaries, and to do so by implementing more stringent legislative barriers to prevent corporations accessing these sacred areas for the purpose of mining". Today's protests highlight the growing concern for our environment, being held just two days after climate change's poster girl - Greta Thunberg's, global "school strike" campaign.
Many activists were primed for this morning's protest, after an urgent and packed-to-capacity "Sea Shepard" initiative was held at The Common, in nearby Prevelly. The information night revealed the extent of damage in the event of a spill in the Bight, and in addition, highlighted Equinor's intentions of using high-risk drilling methods to access the oil. Local Yallingup business owners, environmentally focused surf labels "Spread the Froth" and "Limited Attire", were also supporting this morning's cause along with the local residents, kids and parents, and many members of the surf community that attended the rally.
It emerges that from today's #fightforthebite rally, a newfound sense optimism has been created in the town of Yallingup, and amongst the increasing number of activists fighting for the environment. Further protests have been scheduled for beaches in Perth in the upcoming weeks whilst the critical deadline, to submit your concern to The Government's regulatory panel "NOPSEMA", still remains open. "We stand united and optimistic, that the momentum carrying our hope for a sustainable future, continues to set this type of positive message to our Politicians, and to all Australians to get involved, to get informed, and to get together to lock the gate on corporations accessing our pristine and culturally significant wilderness areas, once and for all". #fightforthebite
Here's what you can do:
1. (And most importantly) submit your comments to NOPSEMA here by 20th March (takes about 2 minutes) https://www.nopsema.gov.au/environmental-management/open-for-comment-stromlo-1-exploration-drilling-program-draft-environment-plan/form-public-comment-on-draft-environment-plan-stromlo-1-exploration-drilling-program/
2. Like, share and support this article
3. Contact your local politicians and voice you concerns
4. Keep an eye out for the next protest happening near you!
Words By Andrew Edwards
Photos By Limited Attire and STF