“Oil Spill Risk” too big to give oil giant green light in the Great Australian Bight

Big oil copped another blow to their plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight today, with the government agency NOPSEMA, rejecting Norwegian company Equinor’s application requiring them to modify and resubmit their environment plan.

“The Norwegian oil giant should quit while it still can. There’s no safe way to drill in the Great Australian Bight, and South Australians, and Australians alike, will not give big oil a green light – not now, and not ever,” Senator for South Australia and Greens Environment Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“The company’s environment and safety plan has been rejected, after failing to deal with the risk of an oil spill, amongst other flaws. The environmental and economic risks are too high and there is no support in the community for turning our Bight into an oil field.

“Drilling for oil in the remote, rough seas of the Great Australian Bight will be a disaster. It cannot be done safely and no amount of amendments to an Environment Plan will ever see the precious marine and coastal environment protected.

“Equinor should can its plans now, just like BP and Chevron did before them.

“The overwhelming majority of South Australians oppose drilling in the Bight, along with the vast majority of Australians. Now the regulator has again rejected Equinor’s plan highlighting many issues including consultation, source control, oil spill risk and protection matters under the EPBC Act.

“What more will it take for Equinor to get the message its oil rigs and environment-wrecking project is not welcome here?

“The ecological and environmental significance of the Bight is priceless. Thousands of fishing and tourism jobs rely on it. It must be protected, with World Heritage listing, not exploited for more dangerous fossil fuels, especially in this climate crisis.”

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