Fight For The Bight: Day Of Action

Rick Snowden
Swellnet Dispatch

Yesterday, thousands of people paddled out in 62 locations across Australia for the National Day of Action in the battle to halt Equinor’s oil exploration plans in the Great Australian Bight.

Channel Nine pegged the numbers at 10,000 but anecdotally the numbers were higher - the Torquay, Manly, and Byron protests alone would've cracked 10K.

Regardless, it was one of the largest coastal environmental rallies ever in Australia, with mass lineup invasions from Darwin right around to Townsville expressing disapproval of the Norwegian oil giant’s twice-rejected proposal.

Equinor has until November 29 to resubmit their drilling plan after its second rejection by governing body NOPSEMA, who turned down the plans on factors surrounding oil spill risk, threats to marine life, accident prevention and consultation with the community.

Read Swellnet's interview with Sean Doherty about the Fight For The Bight campaign.

Yesterday saw speeches and appearances from the likes of Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge, Steph Gilmore, Cheyne Horan and Layne Beachley. It was a proud day for surfing, a powerful stand of solidarity against environmental exploitation and one that drew much-needed mainstream media coverage.

In Bondi, the surf was waist-high, disfigured by a relentless onshore breeze which removed any hope of a pre or post-paddle session.

The crowd gathered at the southern end marinating in rubber. Steph Gilmore’s glowing smile was spotted amongst the sea of foam and glass, banners, and cameras. Jet skis and helicopters circled while the mob made its way out to form an enormous, disorganised ring roughly out in line with Icebergs.

We splashed and cheered, “Fight for the Bight!” It was a surreal experience; a community united. 

We’ve all seen the worst-case scenario graphics which illustrate the horror a spill could wreak on coasts ranging from Margaret River to Port Macquarie. The fight certainly isn’t over yet and if Equinor’s third attempt is given the green light there will be more action required. 

“If there’s an approval to be given, you will see this escalate beyond anything that we’ve seen in Australia before,” said Peter Owen of the Wilderness Society to Channel 7 News. 

Here’s what you can do right now:

Head to https://www.fightforthebight.org.au/ for updates and upcoming activities. 
Follow https://www.instagram.com/fightforthebight/ and https://www.instagram.com/seano888/
Flex your trolling muscles over at https://www.instagram.com/equinor/
Sign the Greenpeace petition https://www.greenpeace.org.au/what-we-do/bight/

Last word goes to Sean Doherty:

"The big question now is: what next? We just sent a huge message to Equinor and the Feds that we won’t tolerate this bullshit on our coast, but how do we stop ‘em?"

"Keep turning up, that’s how. We can hammer them in social media, but turning up is what changes hearts and minds...and decisions. And then once Equinor are kicking a can back to Norway, what then? Seems like everyone’s ready to keep this rolling, to fight the next Equinor or the next casino-cruise ship terminal or the next big dumb money-making idea that risks the coast. Our best hope is to get behind Surfrider Australia who led many of the paddle-outs yesterday."

"Battling the oil and gas lobby has proved one thing: we need a surfers’ lobby group. I’ve signed on as a board member with Surfrider and there are a lot of good people already there fighting for the Australian coast."

"Memberships are as little as $15 for groms, $25 for adults or $85 for families. We need to get Surfrider strong and send it into battle for the coast and our kids future."

www.surfrider.org.au

Comments

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 6:59pm

Well done to all!

Toppa

worldwidesurf's picture
worldwidesurf's picture
worldwidesurf commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 7:42pm

the biggest promoter of ''the surfing brand wsl are they taking action?

PCS PeterPan's picture
PCS PeterPan's picture
PCS PeterPan commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 7:05pm

I was there at Bondi , not my usual place to be , but hey , at least me and the family all registered and paddled out .It was a charged atmosphere , the combined focus , palpable.
But what struck me was how "tuned out " all the tourists and regular folk were . The body language of most of the punters was not good . Now I'm usually a pretty positive person with rose tinted vision , but just based on gut feel , AUSSIE,AUSSIE,AUSSIE could'nt give a fig !

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 7:28pm

Don’t worry Peter
Unfortunately ignorance is bliss is rife in society now ....
There’s enough numbers now that are starting to make the Pollies twitch .,

Mindora's picture
Mindora's picture
Mindora commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 7:25pm

I was also away from home on the far south coast of NSW and I thought it was a great example of community engagement. The talk and paddle only went for 20-30 minutes but its really nice to see people displaying their shared values like that.

Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 7:53pm

Well done to all involved. Keep hammering them!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 8:23pm

Huge turnout at Manly and a great community event. I'd say around 1,000 but I struggled to call crowds, easily over 500.

So many great familiar faces and it was bascially everyone I surf with from around the Beaches. Great effort crew!

Some photos..

 

 

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 8:32pm

Lake Burley Griffin next ?

kaki bibaita

DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 10:46pm

Ignorance is not bliss. Its just bloody ignorance.
Tap your work mates and anyone else prepared to listen on the shoulder, and give them a heads up on situations and events like this proposed oil drill.
Make as much noise as we can. I am fed up with this endless insatiable need for bigger bottom lines by the big end of town, and most of the free world it seems.
Is it me, or does it seem to most that this is what we live for today. A fat wallet and to walk around looking and thinking we are beautiful people. Get a grip fuck ya. Mother nature will kick us in the nuts one day, and all the tea in china wont buy you a fucking PLANET!

DBEARINDARE

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 8:31am

There were hundreds at Mollymook to paddle out, form a circle on the beach and hear a great speech from a local indigenous elder. Peter Owen is right, this is just the beginning of a mass movement that will change. environmental policy permanently.

Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 12:37pm

Tom Wagner would be rubbing his hands together.
Wood is Good

Nicko

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 10:55pm

What Equinor are trying to do is fucking shit but...
Supply and demand idiots! You all want (that’s right want, not need) (me included) oil based products to do stuff like to run your car and so on. Have a look at all them surfboards (mine too). Made with mostly petroleum based materials.

It all seems fine as long as you fuck up the environment in someone else’s country instead of ours to get it.
Look at the BP disaster in the states.

If we want it, we should be prepared to suffer the consequences

WAKE UP TO YOUR SELVES
After all, all you people (and I) are only using oil based products for convenience and for fun. If you really care, you wouldn’t be fucking using it.
No wonder the world is fucked.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 11:45pm

As has been said in other posts, Blackdog, the hypocrisy line is about 10% real and 90% missing the boat.
Alternatives, mate. Of course everyone uses oil-based stuff, but that's generally because there are no alternatives. If there were other easily accessible products you'd likely see a stampede.

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 8:42am

Plenty of alternatives tango. Humans have only been addicted to oil for the last 100-150 years, a short time in the grand scheme of things. We got by Just fine for a long time with out it.
Where is the stampede for leather walking boots and wooden surfboards then??
They just don’t have have the same make me “feel good” (charade)vibe about being shit people that are not willing to make neither sacrifice or compromise.

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 11:29pm

On the other hand Speaking out and unity is a fantastic thing...
keep it up!! but more importantly make a difference where it counts if you really care....

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 11:46pm

Torquay must have had a thousand or two....it was packed.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 9:02pm

And the combined carbon footprint of the mass paddle out was?
Vehicles
Resin
Neoprene
Legropes
grip pads
Rash tops
Made from what?
Until you stop using it they going to dig it up.

DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 11:17pm

Hey Blackdog, I believe you may think I am being hypocritical with my comments. I understand that oil based products are the mainstay of our sport, but then again everything comes from the ground. Name something that didnt start from inside our earth. Oils, minerals and so on.
I am talking about the way we are burning the joint up at a rate that out of the 70,000 years that we, and yes, you included, started standing up straight as mankind. Its our civilization that will probably end it all, and take out the title as the shortest existence. SO THERE IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL

DBEARINDARE

DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 11:29pm

Be careful who you call an idiot Blackdog. I come from an era where we did and I still do sustain ourselves from the earth with minimal impact. I do provide from my earth, collect my water, exist in a simple fashion and survive in prosperity.
The question is. Do you? Can You? And more importantly. Will you and when?

DBEARINDARE

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 12:56am

I think it might be where you and I differ. I admit that I make an impact on this planet, for good and for bad.
I’m not paddling out because I know I’m doing the wrong thing in the way of rape of the environment on someone else’s doorstep if it doesn’t happen here.. Out of sight out of mind aye?
Also where you and I differ is the way I see it: country provides for me. water is not mine but hers and she lets me take a drink. So you keep collecting YOU’RE WATER Mr Murray Darling scheme and I’ll let it keep flowing down the rivers and creeks, benefiting every thing it passes on its way. FYI tonight I ate rabbit from the state forest, last night I ate venison from a national park and the night before that fish from bass Strait all Cought by me with in 80km from where I live. Not much of an environmental disaster there mate! And I don’t have any kids (that I know of) and don’t intend too for the simple fact that we all ready have enough planet rapists on this earth...
My people kept this country in good order for thousands of years, in return it kept them in good order for thousands of years.
So what are you going to do about it you Idiot!!
Put up or shut up. Give up surfing mate.

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 1:17am

By the way I own 6 “eco” surf boards. They are “eco” because they all smack the back out of waves and therefore lessen the impacts of coastal erosion. They are also “eco” because they have timber stringers even though the rest of them is made of 100% petrochemicals.

DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE's picture
DBEARINDARE commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 1:16pm

Blackdog, you and i differ in many ways I would imagine.
Mainly you think I am idiot and I believe you are a fuckwit.

Also that is very noble of you to eradicate our nations vermin by eating it one at a time, at that rate you should have them all gone by the year 3000.
Good luck with that Fuckwit!

DBEARINDARE

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 9:02pm

You wanna come around for dinner tomorrow night?? ;)

mick-burnside's picture
mick-burnside's picture
mick-burnside commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 8:03am

i went to a meeting re this action......it was stated re this hypocrasy of our consumption yet we protest against drilling for oil here......it was presented along the lines of....firstly as sean stated....there is currently an estimated 50 years reserve supply supply of oil....if so why start looking at tapping into a new source with so much to loose.....giving us 30 years to improve drilling practices, solve our consumption problems, and possibly move toward sustainability.......it was also presented that we all live with the internal guilt/ conflict of our lifestyles, but the way forward is up to us, so,..... we can be shamefull and continue to be self destructive , or collectively move forward to make an effort to improve progress toward sustainability rather than destruction, which drilling in the bight will likely create.......what really shits me is how our govts can open up these types of areas for tender without any sort of consultation with australians en masse.....like.... we can have a referendum on whether or not gay people can get married or not.....but any real issues of significance(yes i think issues like this are more important than gay marriage) are all rushed through as quick as possible without any planning or input from the people the govt is meant to be representing....this issue concerns all people not a certain group.....the world is a finite space, and the dopey or scheming pricks running the show are still trying to run an economy based on growth, and if we keep moving forward like this and defying nature it seems to me, that its gonna end heavily....war , epidemic or cannibalism are words that come to mind......our country/world is divided and that seems to me to be the way the the powers that be want it.....look at the variety of comments re this topic.......if you like the idea of a healthy planet and future here slow down your consumption, and start taking actions like reading and protesting on these types of issues.....if not ....well i guess just keep doin what your doin......one thing i rekon is a dead certainty.....its gonna take a seriously committed collective effort to turn our environmental dramas around for the betterment of the planet/universe....and its up to us to do it....if every one does their bit and commits from the heart, the situation can and will improve.....way more easily said than done....nothing is impossible.

mick b

Horas's picture
Horas's picture
Horas commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:22am

You have to understand why the UN is pushing the global hoax.The federal reserve is a private company owned by Morgans,Rothchilds,Rockfellers etc .They own all countries with central banks as the $US dollar is the reserve currency.Therefore they control the UN through money control. Thomas Jefferson quoted "if the American people ever allow the private banks control to issue currency,first by inflation then by deflation,it will be worst than a standing army". 1913 the Fed was formed.This is why they killed JFK as he wanted to print $US notes and close down the Federal Reserve.They will not build dams ,they want a smaller population and a one world government that is totally socialist. And all the fools walk towards it with there eyes closed,smiling and no farken idea.FMD what a time to be alive.

Horas

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 5:44am

Huge if true.

wallpaper's picture
wallpaper's picture
wallpaper commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 8:44am

meanwhile back in the real world

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 4:51pm

Karoon have exited the Bight.. Karoon to give up its exploration permit in Great Australian Bight

Give it up Equinor!