The Greens have backed the community groups taking legal action to challenge the government regulator’s (NOPSEMA) initial approval of Norwegian oil giant Equinor’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
Senator for South Australia and Greens Environment Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said the environmental approval announcement last month was a devastating outcome for the tens of thousands of Australians deeply opposed to the project.
“The Christmas eve approval for drilling in the Great Australian Bight has not gone unnoticed. The Greens, together with the community, will take all steps necessary to stop this environmental destruction from going ahead,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“Australians rightly feel as though their pleas for the Great Australian Bight to be protected from oil and gas drilling have fallen on deaf ears. It’s therefore no wonder The Wilderness Society SA and the Great Australian Bight Alliance have decided to challenge the decision.
“South Australians, and indeed the majority of Australians, don’t want our Great Australian Bight turned into an oil field. They don’t want a foreign oil giant destroying our coastline and one of our most precious and treasured assets.
“Just today an Ipsos Australia poll shows the environment is the biggest worry for Australians, above cost of living, healthcare and the economy. This comes after catastrophic fires across the country fuelled by the climate emergency. Australia should be cutting fossil fuel pollution not opening up new oil fields in our oceans. It seems everyone gets that except for the Morrison Government.
“The Federal Government could put a stop to this pain by agreeing to world heritage protection and backing Greens’ legislation currently before the Senate to give the Bight the protection it deserves.”