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Coffs Coast surfers Fight for the Bight

Source: The Advocate Coffs Coast

COFFS Coast Surfrider is calling for surfers and ocean lovers to take a stand against plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight at a paddle-out this Sunday at 10am at the Jetty Foreshores North Wall beach.

Local campaigners getting behind the Fight for the Bight campaign. Picture: Chris Hewgill.

Local campaigners getting behind the Fight for the Bight campaign. Picture: Chris Hewgill.

The Hands across the Sands action is part of a national strategy to oppose the Norwegian mining giant Equinor. 

The multinational is proposing to drill 372km off the Australian coastline, in pristine waters that are home to many species of marine life and also a Southern Right Whale breeding area.

Coffs Coast Surfrider spokesperson Jonathan Cassell said mining oil in the Australian Bight is a significant concern for many Coffs Harbour locals who understand the risks far outweigh any financial benefit.

"These are the roughest seas on the planet and no matter what the economic benefits, the potential for an industrial disaster along the Australian coastline is too great," Jonathan said. 

"Modelling by British Petroleum shows an oil spill in this part of the world would spread a slick across thousands of kilometres with moderate shoreline contact along the coast of NSW.

"A recent information night in Sawtell attracted around 100 people, so we know this is an important issue for many locals on the Coffs Coast."

National coordinator and Valla Beach local Heath Joske will speak at the paddle out event on behalf of the Great Australian Bight Alliance after returning this week from the Equinor AGM in Norway.

"Over 31,000 Australians have written submissions opposing the licenses to drill in the Great Australian Bight and paddle outs have happened all around Australian with over 20,000 people nationwide so far," Heath said.

"We want to send the Morrison government and newly elected Nationals MP Patrick Conaghan a reminder that the LNP promised during their election campaign that they would review Equinor's exploration licence."

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