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THANK YOU, FROM THE BOTTOM OF AUSTRALIA

In a major victory for the people of the Australian coast, Norwegian energy giant Equinor has abandoned its plan to develop the Great Australian Bight as a deep water oil field. In doing so they became the fourth major oil company in four years to walk away.

The Fight For The Bight has been a line in the sand. It is the single biggest coastal environmental action in Australian history. It has grown from a tiny grassroots group down in the Bight to a national movement involving tens of thousands of people – surfers and coastal communities stood alongside campaigners from The Wilderness Society, the Great Australian Bight Alliance, and Surfrider Foundation Australia.

We’d like to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who paddled out and spoke up for one of the last great tracts of marine wilderness on earth.


For now, the Bight will remain wild and free.

The Head of the Bight

Heath Joske is a Patagonia Ambassador who lives, surfs and fishes in the Great Australia Bight. He knows that an oil spill in the Bight would ruin this pristine coastline and has campaigned strongly against Equinor’s plans to turn the Bight a dangerous, deep water oil field. In this short film Heath journeys west across the Bight coast meeting local fishermen, scientists, surfers and activists who’ve all spoken up loudly in defence of the Bight. Heath’s destination is the Head of the Bight where he meets the indigenous custodians, already displaced by the “black mist” of the Maralinga nuclear tests and now facing another threat to their way of life.

Heath Joske is a Patagonia Ambassador who lives, surfs and fishes in the Great Australia Bight. He knows that an oil spill in the Bight would ruin this pristine coastline and has campaigned strongly against Equinor’s plans to turn the Bight a dangerous, deep water oil field. In this short film Heath journeys west across the Bight coast meeting local fishermen, scientists, surfers and activists who’ve all spoken up loudly in defence of the Bight. Heath’s destination is the Head of the Bight where he meets the indigenous custodians, already displaced by the “black mist” of the Maralinga nuclear tests and now facing another threat to their way of life.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

The climate crisis is not a forecast – its impacts are real, present and devastating. Communities and nature are both facing extinction and this includes our oceans.

In September 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered the Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. It reinforced the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the scale of changes to the oceans.

If we are to protect our oceans and marine life and ensure a liveable future for all, we must transition from fossil fuels. Equinor’s plans for the Great Australian Bight are too risky and threaten Australian coastal communities, economies, livelihoods and our marine environment.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

Changes in climate such as warming, acidification, oxygen loss etc are already disrupting marine species and ecosystems. These impacts extend to the communities who depend on them.

So far, the ocean has adopted more than 90% of the additional heat in the climate system and this is reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients for marine life.

Since 1982, there has been a doubling in marine heatwaves. If emissions continue to increase at current rates, warming events will be 50 times more prevalent.

Coastal communities that rely on seafood as part of their dietary requirements, may face risks to nutritional health and food security if fish populations continue to decline.

Special Report on the state of Our Oceans

“Cutting greenhouse gas emissions will limit impacts on ocean ecosystems that provide us with food, support our health and shape our cultures,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II. “Reducing other pressures such as pollution will further help marine life deal with changes in their environment, while enabling a more resilient ocean”.

More on the issue

Bight Fight goes coast-to-coast in Australia

The National Day of Action to save the Great Australian Bight was designed to really get Equinor’s attention. The Norwegian fossil fuel company lodged their plan to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight earlier this year, and have been locked in a battle with surfers around the country ever since.

The Fight for the Bight goes to Norway

In May this year, a delegation from the Great Australian Bight Alliance travelled to Norway to take the fight to Equinor’s doorstep. Patagonia ambassador and Bight local Heath Joske led a paddle out protest in Oslo and addressed the Annual General Meeting of Equinor.

A line in the sand

Anna Taylor is a mother of two who lives outside Elliston with her partner, Tim Jones. The family’s small acreage is an oasis of life amongst the dry and stony sheep paddocks that surround it. It’s hardscrabble country down here in the Bight, yet Anna and Tim have grown this from scratch and it flourishes in one of the harshest environments on the Australian continent.

Stand for the Bight

Heath Joske discusses the issues with drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, its risks on the coastline of Southern Australia and why it is important to stand for it for our future.

"To go this deep in an area that hasn't been touched before, with the potential for such broad consequences all along Southern Australia- it's a definite line in the sand"

Stop oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight

Friday 6th December 2002. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I was standing with three friends at the top of a cliff near Mundaka, one of the world’s most iconic surf spots. We watched in horror as a gigantic black stain advanced its way towards the coast. Minutes later, the waves started dumping millions of blobs of crude oil onto the shoreline. In the space of a few hours, the beautiful coastline of yellow sand had turned into a stinking carpet of black, sticky tar

This is not a drill

There’s a thing about Australian surfing that’s more or less timeless. No matter the decade, nor the town nor the reason, a film night pulls together the faithful in defiance of the old observation that getting surfers to turn up to anything is more or less like herding cats

Big Oil is not welcome in the Bight

The Great Australian Bight has always been considered too wild and too deep to even consider drilling for oil out there. They’d be drilling in waters two kilometres deep, then drilling two kilometres into the seabed, in some of the wildest ocean on earth. What could go wrong? It would be cavalier and breathtakingly irresponsible. There are no oil rigs in The Bight for good reason

The Never Town Grassroots Tour

Good news can be hard to find. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Good people doing good work can also be hard to hear about. They are often too busy doing the work to be out beating their chests about it and demanding attention. There are a lot of uplifting stories and inspiring people living on the edge of this big brown land who deserve a tip of the hat and much more support

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