Wilderness Society

The federal and Victorian governments announced on March 27 a two-year extension of the controversial Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) for East Gippsland, the North East and the Central Highlands. They will be reassessed at the end of the two-year period.

BP announced on October 11 that it has abandoned plans for a $1.4 billion program to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight, off South Australia.

The British petroleum giant said the decision, which delighted environmental groups, was made because the project was not economically viable. It said it would instead focus on projects it could exploit in the short-to-medium term.

Just-released modelling from BP has revealed that an oil spill from an uncontained blowout on its proposed Stromlo-1 well is guaranteed to impact the South Australian coast. It is possible that anywhere across the southern Australian coast could be impacted, from Western Australia across to Tasmania and NSW.

In light of this, the Wilderness Society has called on Australia’s offshore oil and gas authority, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), to reject BP’s application to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

Protesters opposing a coal seam gas (CSG) wastewater plant in northern NSW say they will not let police use of pepper spray deter them from their fight against Santos' plans to drill up to 850 CSG wells in the Pilliga.

The Pilliga forest is a vital recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin, which forms the lifeblood of eastern Australia.

As part of its CSG plans, Santos is building a wastewater treatment works at Leewood, which was approved without an environmental impact statement and without public consultation.

Sea Shepherd has announced it will join the Great Australian Bight Alliance to fight BP’s proposal to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. They will join the Wilderness Society, Oil Free Seas Kangaroo Island, elders from the Mirning and Kokatha people and the Clean Bight Alliance Australia.

BP wants to drill four deep-water exploration wells between 1000 and 2500 metres deep, about 300 kilometres south-west of Ceduna. The Alliance fears an oil spill will have dire consequences for Australia's southern coast.

Australia's offshore oil and gas authority, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has rejected BP's application to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight on the grounds that its “environment plan does not yet meet the criteria for acceptance under the environment regulations”.

NOPSEMA had earlier said BP needs a comprehensive risk assessment and a comprehensive oil pollution emergency plan.

Protesters hold a banner opposing BP oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight, in St Kilda beach on May 16. Photo: Chris Peterson

About 100 people rallied at Glenelg in Adelaide to protest against plans by oil company British Petroleum to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

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