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 ?

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!

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2019 at 7:23pm

Fucken gutted Craig. Fark.

nipper77's picture
nipper77's picture
nipper77 commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 6:28pm

Shattered Craig, we've had a family shack at Venus Bay for about 50 years and this is devastating, our piece of paradise will be lost by these arseholes who don't care. FUCKN GOVERNMENT!! FUCK OFF EQUINOR!!

nipper77

Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2019 at 8:44pm

Letter of acceptance link below. Grim reading.
https://info.nopsema.gov.au/environment_plans/463/show_public

“Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the Bight project had the potential to open up a major new petroleum basin”. AAP

The decision maker responsible has his name redacted from the statement of reasons before going ‘public’... and the clunky acronym ALARP ‘impacts and risks of the activity will be reduced to As Low As Reasonably Practicable’ is alarming to say the least.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2019 at 10:44pm

Fuck me!! Cowards. This is an absolute disgrace. 

Check the redactions here.. https://docs.nopsema.gov.au/A708623

philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizing... commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 6:03am
Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 7:03am

‘Dispell the myth that we can’t make a difference’...
richard denniss, chief economist, australia institute
abc story lab 17.12.2019

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 7:13am

fukme....why arn't these cunts listening to the people...here we go again.....seems that when monies involved there is no such thing about looking out for the enviroment......what the fuk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...they just dont get it.

simba

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 7:59am

Wake up Australia, we are better than this.

Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 8:55am

Senate Standing Committee WHS Inquiry Offshore Oil Aug 2018

4.16. The current board chair, (Nopsema) Ms Erica Smyth, advised the committee that she had spent a large part of her career seeking approvals for minerals extraction projects, including in the oil and gas industry.
4.17. All of Ms Smyth's co-board members have held senior executive roles or have held positions funded by major oil and gas corporations.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 9:14am

Saw a good T Shirt the other day regarding people like Matt Canavan. It said:

POLITICIANS - Putting the "N" back in "CUTS".

So very very true!!!

soggydog's picture
soggydog's picture
soggydog commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 9:19am

like I said yesterday we’re a resource colony and the dice are loaded.

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 5:17pm

Equinor has just passed 2 out of 4 environmental approvals.
Seems like some Lib pollies think it’s a fantastic idea to fuck the world.
Coal mines, drilling for oil and letting Australia’s lungs (trees) burn to the ground is the direction that they are leaving for the next generations.
Very sad times. We need to urgently go the opposite direction.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-18/equinor-receives-environmental-ap...

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Friday, 20 Dec 2019 at 2:17pm

This email came from Rebekha Sharkies office today.
Whatever your stand on Eqinor's bid to drill in the Bight is, just take stock of the scale of tax avoidance these big boys get away with.
What the fuck are these faceless, invisible beurocrats doing? Giving it away just makes it so much worse, as if a potential oil spill isn't enough.

Statement on NOPSEMA decision to accept Equinor's environmental plan

Centre Alliance is disappointed by the decision of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) to accept Equinor's environmental plan to drill an exploration well off the South Australian coast.

“It is clear from public surveys done in South Australia and the majority of the 30,000 submissions sent to NOPSEMA during the environmental approval process that most South Australians will be disappointed with this decision," said Rebekha Sharkie, the Centre Alliance Federal Member for Mayo.

“We believe the risk of any spill is too high a price for our pristine marine environment and the industries that rely on that environment.

“We cannot understand why the environmental plan was approved when drilling will be conducted at such a depth and in such a remote location. Both factors that will heighten the risk of a major oil spill in an area with unique and diverse marine biodiversity. An area world renown as a whale nursery.

“People must understand there is no real economic benefit to Australians in allowing drilling in the Bight.

"In the last five years Exxon Mobil Australia earned $42 billion in revenue and paid no tax, Chevron earned $15.5 billion and also paid no tax.

"A nurse at the Mount Barker Hospital will have paid more tax in one year than these oil companies have in five."

Centre Alliance Environmental spokesperson, Senator Rex Patrick, said the argument that this approval would assist Australia's fuel security was also a furphy.

"All that South Australians will get from this project is risk; risk to the pristine environment, risk to marine life, risk to our fishing industry and risk to tourism. It makes no sense.

“This is the second of four approvals needed so we will now investigate the most appropriate way forward to ensure the voices of Australians opposed to this project are heard and acted upon.”

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020 at 12:20pm

"The Wilderness Society takes legal action against Equinor’s approval to drill the Bight"

https://www.wilderness.org.au/news-events/legal-action-against-equinors-bight-approval?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=organic-social&utm_campaign=gab&utm_content=think

  1. The Wilderness Society SA is launching a legal challenge in the Federal Court to NOPSEMA’s Environmental Approval of Equinor’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight
  2. Objections include Equinor’s refusal to consult important and relevant parties, as required by the regulations 
  3. The Australian people have clearly demonstrated they oppose Bight oil drilling
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020 at 12:31pm

thank you to all who continue to support and work for this.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020 at 3:43pm

See now I've been sitting here the last few months frustrated about what one person like myself can do about this. And there it is on that link that Craig just posted - the "DONATE" button. If all 600,000 of the residents in those 20 municipal areas donated the minimum of $15 you have a slush fund of $9 million to hit back with. Now add to that all of us non residents that are that pissed off with this decision and you could have enough funding to keep Equinor tied up legally for years. Time to play their game I reckon.

Smorto's picture
Smorto's picture
Smorto commented Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020 at 5:27pm

Don't you think its a bit presumptuous to assume that all 600,000 residents share your opinion on the proposal, particularly given that you aren't a local and your opinion assumes that no-one in the community stands to benefit from the proposal?

Dont you also think its even more presumptuous to assume they'd be willing to donate their hard earned cash to some non-specific slush fund that's going to line the pockets of lawyers?

I'm not saying I'm for or against drilling in the bight but there's a whole lot of virtue signalling associated with this proposal and very little consideration of exactly what is wanted by the communities who actually stand to benefit or or be adversely impacted?

If I was a local I wouldn't give two hoots about what a bunch of surfers holding hands in a circle in Queensland think about the proposal.

bigredcouch's picture
bigredcouch's picture
bigredcouch commented Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020 at 4:37pm

Is that the plan now you reckon GaryG? To keep Equinor tied up in the courts?

lomah's picture
lomah's picture
lomah commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:47am

Reports of equinox pulling out of drilling in the bight.

mcbain's picture
mcbain's picture
mcbain commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:52am