More than a hundred people have joined a paddle-out at Fremantle’s South Beach in a display of community opposition to Woodside Energy’s gas expansion plans, calling for climate and ocean protection.

The ‘Turn the Tide on Woodside’ event was co-hosted by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, School Strike 4 Climate, Surfers for Climate, Conservation Council WA, Free the Nippers and Sustain Surf.

Greenpeace’s Head of Clean Energy Transition Jess Panegyres said the event amplified the collective call for a safer, renewable energy future for Western Australia.

“Our community came together today to stand up for our oceans and climate and say yes to a renewable energy future and no to Woodside’s Burrup Hub project. Western Australia can be a leader in the clean energy transition; it’s one of the sunniest, windiest places in the world. West Australians have the infrastructure and the workforce to perfectly set up the state to become a renewable energy super power. Now is the time to invest in WA’s clean energy future, and protect the oceans and biodiversity we West Australians are so proud of.”

Nora Jackson from School Strike 4 Climate said the collective voices of WA’s grassroots movements should serve as a wake up call for Woodside and the fossil fuel industry.

“People from across the spectrum, young and old, are gathering in increasing numbers to oppose fossil fuels. Woodside has made it clear that they would rather prioritise their increasingly enormous profits over young peoples’ future. We live in a rapidly transitioning economy, and we need to prioritise a safe and liveable future for my generation. Everyone – but especially young people – need to be taking rapid action against Woodside who are keeping us in the dark ages.”

CEO of Surfers for Climate Josh Kirkman said Woodside must get on the good side of climate action. 

“We are in a critical decade for climate action and the expansion of new oil and gas in our ocean is incompatible with taking meaningful action on climate. Woodside and others need to understand that they can be a great energy company, if they do it the way we need it done for a healthy home and future. Today, the community has shown we are drawing a line in the sand, and we want the big energy companies to jump on the party wave of change too, and start feeling that stoke with us.”

Over the coming weeks, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior will sail up the coast of Western Australia, documenting the vulnerable wildlife and environment that is threatened by Woodside’s climate-wrecking plans to drill for gas for its Burrup Hub project in the state’s north. 

Western Australia’s oceans are home to wildlife species found nowhere else on earth.  Woodside’s Burrup Hub plans threaten the region’s unique biodiversity. The company wants to open two huge new offshore gas fields, involving drilling for gas at a coral reef, dumping gas pipelines into endangered turtle habitats and conducting seismic blasting that can deafen whales, putting up to 54 threatened species at risk.

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