Drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight presents an unacceptable risk to an irreplaceable ecosystem, according to Minderoo Foundation’s Flourishing Oceans initiative.
The Great Australian Bight is a globally significant marine reserve set aside to protect important marine species, many of which are only found in these waters.
Due to the significance of this environment, proposed exploration drilling in the Bight should not go ahead, Flourishing Oceans chief executive Brigitte Smith said.
“The Great Australian Bight is a pristine marine park home to unique and sensitive marine ecosystems,” Ms Smith said.
“For example, the Bight contains the majority of the endemic and threatened Australian sea lion population and is the primary calving ground for Southern Right whales.”
The Great Australian Bight doesn’t have a proven hydrocarbon system. It is also remote, expensive and thoroughly difficult territory for oil exploration.
Minderoo is not opposed to responsible economic resource extraction. The risk factors associated with drilling in the pristine and globally-significant Bight make exploration or operation there unacceptable.
“I don’t believe drilling should occur in this sensitive marine park when there are better alternatives,” Ms Smith continued.
“Risking such a precious environment is not worth the reward.”