More than 100 people rallied at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium on September 15 against proposed gas exploration and seismic blasting of over 55,000 square kilometers of the Otway Basin.
The action was called by the Southern Ocean Protection Embassy Collective, a collective of Gunditjmara ocean defenders, as part of their struggle to protect Sea Country.
The protest marched to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority office before moving on to State Library Victoria.
A whale song recording, played on loop, accompanied protestors who carried placards portraying whale eyes and other marine-themed costumes. Together, it created an unsettling phantasmagoria aesthetic.
Tony Gleeson described seismic blasting as “an attack on democracy” and “a destructive method to find gas that we cannot even use if we want to solve the climate crisis”.
Gunditjmara woman Yaaran Bundle said: “It is shameful that the state government gets royalties as part of every new gas valve that is approved.” She rebuked the Victorian government for not “respecting future generations who will be affected by the decisions that are made today”.