Greenpeace response to NOPSEMA Equinor Environmental plan decision point

In response to the news that NOPSEMA have tonight requested further information from Norwegian mining company regarding it’s plans for drilling in the Great Australian Bight within a sixty day timeframe, Jamie Hanson, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Deputy Program Director & Head of Campaigns, said:

SYDNEY, June 27: NOPSEMA have today sent Equinor’s Environmental Plan back to the company for further information to be provided within 60 days. This means NOPSEMA have identified significant gaps in Equinor’s environmental plan.

This is welcome news to the thousands of Australians including Traditional Owners, the fishing industry, coastal dwellers and surfers who have opposed deep sea drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

NOPSEMA should have just rejected Equinor’s environmental plan outright because of the unacceptable risk of a catastrophic accident and oil spill this project poses to the Great Australian Bight.

Prior to the Federal election both major parties put in place additional assessment hurdles for Equinor’s project. This was because the project lacks a social license – opposition is coming from diverse groups including fishermen, Traditional Owners, ocean dwelling communities – with these concerns even acknowledged from within the Liberal National Party.

According to Equinor’s own report, a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Australian Bight could smash the coastline from South Australia to Sydney and as far north as Port Macquarie – coating Sydney beaches such as Bondi beach with oil, destroying World Heritage coastline in Tasmania, and devastating tourism and fishing industries.

Extreme oil projects like Equinor’s proposal to drill in Australia’s pristine Great Australian Bight defy all logic and fly in the face of climate science. We can’t afford to burn this oil if we want to avoid the worst climate damage – increased heat waves, droughts, fires, and related ecological catastrophes like widespread extinctions. Any new oil is unburnable and unjustifiable.

The pathway to energy security for Australia lies in a transition to modern electric modes of transport, like electric cars, powered by renewable energy from the sun and wind, both in abundance here in Australia – a transition that will leave Australia more self-sufficient by reducing our reliance on imported oil.

Media Contact: James Norman 0451291775