FORMER Senator and leader of the Australian Greens, Dr. Bob Brown, and actor David Field, joined the Steve Irwin and its crew in Fowlers Bay, South Australia on Monday, August 15 as part of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Jeedara to oppose the threat of BP’s oil rig due to arrive in the Great Australian Bight marine park later this year.
Sea Shepherd’s Operation Jeedara is part of the Great Australian Bight Alliance of which the Bob Brown Foundation is also a member. It will showcase the Great Australian Bight and highlight what is actually at stake – a wilderness of global significance. From the Nuyts Reef, the Isles of St Francis, Pearson Island, Neptune Islands, areas around Kangaroo Island, Fowlers Bay and Head of the Bight (southern right whale nurseries), right through to the iconic Bunda Cliffs of the Nullarbor Plain.
Much of the landscapes and diversity of life in the Great Australian Bight is unknown to the world. It is Sea Shepherd’s aim to showcase what we would all lose if BP were allowed to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight and had another Gulf of Mexico, Deep Water Horizon oil spill of lesser or equal value.
“BP has form. A repeat of the Gulf of Mexico spill in the Great Australian Bight would be an economic and ecological disaster affecting the coastline from Western Australia to Victoria and Tasmania. The Bight is one of Earth’s great marine ecosystems: I am looking forward to joining the Steve Irwin in this realm of whales, seals, sharks and a rich food chain from its surface to the deep canyons. The federal minister for the environment, Josh Frydenberg, should join us.
“He would be very welcome. This is his responsibility – to keep the Bight’s globally important marine environment intact”, Bob Brown said.
“At this time of year the Bight is a huge whale nursery. At any time of the year its coastline, dotted with seal colonies, is a unique natural spectacle. I am looking forward to joining the Steve Irwin and its magnificent crew with the aim of helping see that all Australians get to know about their natural heritage which BP is putting in peril.
“The giant oil rig blasted ashore at Dalmore on Lewis Island in Scotland this week once again shows how easily these monster rig operations can go wrong. The Bight is no place for an oil rig”, Brown added.
“I hear a lot of people fearful for the future of Australia regarding ownership and I hear a lot of people fearful about our ‘sovereign borders’ but what about the country we don’t stand on? Where is the panic and fear about losing our Great Southern Ocean and ALL of it’s resources. This wildlife is not only precious but a commodity as well. Money in the bank for our future and our lineage. I would encourage all those independents that achieved political success through their outrage about our country being sold off, to make sure that BP cannot be given even the opportunity to repeat the wreckage of the Gulf of Mexico.
“Because we all know they will: let’s face it, this isn’t the gulf of Mexico, this is one of the most powerful and volatile oceans. Any damage here WILL be catastrophic!! This is why I am honoured to be a part of a viewpoint that supports the saving of OUR country and all it’s treasures,” David Field said.
“Its so great to have two Australian legends onboard in Bob Brown and David Field, who are both passionate about conservation. They have seen the changes over the years in the natural world and humanities life support systems and they know that the time for action is now. They are coming onboard to help raise the profile of the campaign and learn first hand the beauty of the Great Australian Bight.
“Being out here, our crew’s resolve to defend this place grows stronger by the day and I know that both Bob and David will also fall in love with the beauty, wonder, grandness and diversity of life here, after all, this is what Australia is all about,” Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director Jeff Hansen said.
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.