Taking a stand across the sand against drilling in the Bight

NO TO DRILLING: Fight for the Bight Port Lincoln members Nel Taylor, Robin Archer, Elise Lavers, Rebecca Laidlaw and (back) Graham Mantle, Richard Mason, Lee Clayton, Keith Kirby, Steve Sawyer, Jamie McGuirk, Ross Kassebaum, Ray North and Kelly Thorpeare encouraging community members to be part of Hands Across the Sand.
NO TO DRILLING: Fight for the Bight Port Lincoln members Nel Taylor, Robin Archer, Elise Lavers, Rebecca Laidlaw and (back) Graham Mantle, Richard Mason, Lee Clayton, Keith Kirby, Steve Sawyer, Jamie McGuirk, Ross Kassebaum, Ray North and Kelly Thorpeare encouraging community members to be part of Hands Across the Sand.

Community momentum is building against drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, according to the grassroots group campaigning against it.

Fight for the Bight Port Lincoln members hope a Hands Across the Sand in Port Lincoln this weekend will reflect this growing interest in the cause.

“The momentum is definitely growing,” group member Nel Taylor said.

“People are waking up to the fact of what’s going to happen on their doorstep.”

Ms Taylor said when BP abaondoned its plans to drill in the Bight people thought “we’ll be alright” but with seven oil companies still holding 11 mining leases in the Bight the community was realising there was still potential for “something really bad to happen”.

“And the idea that people had that there were going to be lots of jobs is probably a bit of a myth.”

People are waking up to the fact of what’s going to happen on their doorstep.

Nel Taylor, Fight for the Bight Port Lincoln

Ms Taylor said the group was also pleased to be getting some support from the fishing industry, which had realised it had a lot to lose.

Statewide seven councils have passed motions expressing concern about or opposing drilling in the Bight but the Elliston District Council is the only Eyre Peninsula council so far to take that stance.

Ms Taylor hoped a good turnout at this Saturday’s event would encourage the Port Lincoln City Council to take notice.

“Lets see what sort of line-up we can make because we really want our council to wake up to the fact that this is not what we want here.

“The campaign is working on all levels,” Ms Taylor said.

“We’re working at the ground level trying to get community support so (the Port Lincoln) council realises this is not what the community wants.”

Ms Taylor encouraged anyone interested in joining in the event to go along in a group with family, neighbours or friends.

“We had a great turn out last year but hope to better it this year.”

The event will be held on the Port Lincoln foreshore from 11.30am ready to line up on the beach at noon but there will be face painting and children’s activities from 10.30am.