Strong turnout for film screenings

Elliston screening
Elliston screening

More than 50 people attended the screening of Patagonia's film Head of the Bight hosted by the Elliston Unite the Bight group at Town Beach on Saturday night, with similar events in Streaky Bay on Friday and Port Lincoln on Sunday.

Speakers included Ian Dudley, who this year attended a symposium on oil in the Great Australian Bight at the Sydney Environment Institute.

He shared information gleaned from oil industry and economics experts casting doubt on safety and also reporting minimal financial returns for regional, state and federal governments.

Anna Taylor spoke passionately about the community's role in having a say in the decision making process and showed evidence of three large oil exploration licences that have recently been handed back to the government.

Fishing industry representatives also updated the audience on their progress on getting their concerns addressed by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and Equinor, emphasizing the importance of public submissions to the upcoming Senate Inquiry into seismic testing.

Tim Jones spoke about a recent meeting with Equinor, focusing on the inadequacy of ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) in NOPSEMA's safety assessment and also on Equinor's stated responsibilities regarding climate change being at odds with potentially removing a billion barrels of oil from the Bight.

Heath Joske rounded off the evening with perspectives on the damage seismic testing has been shown to do to fisheries internationally.

Public response to the movie was very positive, with people happy to see local faces and identities in the film talking frankly about their fears and concerns.

At the Streaky Bay screening Sandra Desira stressed the importance of keeping communication open with NOPSEMA by continuing to submit concerns via email.

In Port Lincoln, alongside speakers present in Elliston, travelling 'Green Nomad' Kay Moncrieff, spoke about her 18,000 kilometre trip around Australia raising awareness on Equinor's oil exploration proposals and expressed her disappointment that the government is not acknowledging public concerns and encouraging people to have their say on the issue.