Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young will tell Norwegian company Equinor, which plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight, “you’re not welcome in SA” when she meets with representatives from the company in Adelaide today.
Senator Hanson-Young will also highlight the findings of The Australia Institute report released today, showing SA is unlikely to receive any noticeable benefit from tax payments as a result of oil and gas production in the Bight.
“South Australians don’t want our Bight turned into an oilfield and this is the message I’ll be delivering on their behalf to Equinor today,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“Drilling in the Bight will be a disaster for coastal communities, for tourism and fishing jobs, and could devastate our unique marine life and beautiful beaches – it’s not worth the risk.
“The Australia Institute Report shows exploration drilling in the Bight would be ‘unlikely to pay any royalty income or tax to the state or federal governments’ and ‘decades of subsidy may be necessary before major oil and gas projects provide benefits to state government’.
“It would be extremely reckless of any government to put more than 10,000 tourism, fishing and aquaculture industry jobs at risk, for little to no economic benefit. Instead, the Bight should actually be protected from drilling and given World Heritage status.
“Polls consistently show the vast majority of South Australians oppose drilling in the Bight, along with the majority of Australians. It’s high time Equinor start listening and the major parties stop doing the bidding of their political donors in the fossil fuel industry and instead act in the best interests of the communities they’re meant to represent.
“No amount of spin is going to change the minds of South Australians - Big Oil is not welcome here.”