We kicked off 2022 with a bang, moving onto our next campaign, saving our southern seas from the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry. These wild southern coastlines and the communities that inhabit them are home to some of the cleanest and most pristine waters in the world that local communities rely upon for recreational fishing, surfing, commercial fishing, diving and everyday living. 

Unfortunately the fossil fuel industry is heavily targeting our Southern Ocean, exploiting the waters between North West Tasmania and the West Coast of Victoria. This includes what is known as the Otway Basin, Sorrel Basin and parts of the Bass Basin, which means that unique and world renowned areas, including the 12 Apostles, King Island and the Great Ocean Road are all under threat. 

It seems both the oil and gas companies and our governments are hellbent on turning the Great Ocean Road into the Great Ocean Industrial Gas Zone, with the area fast becoming an offshore hub for gas production. Drilling for gas in our wild southern oceans is a disaster just waiting to happen. Offshore gas rigs and heaving 20 foot monster swells charging in from the south west are a dangerous combination. Not to mention the destructive impacts these gas corporations are having on the climate crisis as they pillage our planet all in the name of greed, leaving our communities vulnerable and crushing the hopes of future generations. 

We need your help, please take action today and sign the petition below to make change. 

Sign the Citizens Protection Declaration to stand in solidarity with First Nations communities asserting their care for Sea Country.

CAMPAIGN UPDATE – Nov 17th 2022

Our friends over at OCEAN discovered that the same multiNational Corporation that is trying to Seismic Blast 7.7m hectares of Southern Sea Country is currently under investigation from NOPSEMA for an undisclosed matter arising from Schlumberger’s seismic survey of the Otway Basin in 2019. 

“NOPSEMA were not able to tell us what the investigation is about,” says Lisa Deppeler from the Otway Climate Emergency Action Network (OCEAN)‘but we are acutely aware that Schlumberger’s flagship, the Nordic Explorer, seismic blasted over a dump site for WWI and WWII chemical and artillery weapons in the Otway Basin during the 2019 survey. It was OCEAN that alerted NOPSEMA to this in fact, in 2020, but we were basically fobbed off at the time because we didn’t have any ‘information pertaining to the event’ or evidence that the dump site was impacted by the blasts. “

In August and September of 1948 the Australian Defence Forces dumped 1634 tons of World War II ammunition and chemical warfare agents (CWA) in a site northwest of King Island, Tasmania. Historical records don’t indicate exactly what these chemicals and ammunition were, but reports indicate that the majority of the CWA was mustard gas. Somehow the presence of the site was overlooked by Schlumberger and NOPSEMA when the area was blasted with 259 decibels. What impact these blasts had on the canisters of chemicals remains unknown.  

Schlumberger, along with another company, TGS, currently have an application with the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) for a permit to carry out another seismic survey of the Otway Basin. This time, the survey will use three-dimensional (3D) seismic blasting, which is much more damaging to marine life than the two-dimensional survey done in 2019. If successful this application will result in the largest 3D seismic survey in history. OCEAN members have been informed by NOPSEMA that the investigation into Schlumberger’s 2019 project will not have any impact on the decision to approve or reject the current proposal.