Equinor, a Norwegian oil company, submitted a plan to explore deep-sea oil drilling 230 miles off the coast of South Australia.
If authorized by the Australian authorities, the offshore drilling operation will take place in the Great Australian Bight, a large open bay located off the central and western coastline.
The region is well-known for its rich biodiversity. Due to its particular series of ocean currents, the Great Australian Bight is considered a zooplankton sanctuary, and a haven for dolphins and whales.
In case of an oil spill disaster, nearly half of the Australian coastline and oceanic waters will be affected, including almost all of the country's famous surf spots.
Australian surfers have already shown they don't want Equinor in their waters. And they're getting louder every day.
Joel Parkinson, Craig Anderson, Chippa Wilson, Mick Fanning, Dave Rastovich, and Dion Agius were some of the pros who are using their influence to make their voice heard and protest against the offshore drilling plan.
"Stay away from Australia," "Put your oil and gas greed elsewhere," "You are not welcome here" were some of the words chosen by the athletes to qualify the Norwegian plan.
No One Wants Equinor in Australia
Equinor' draft plan is under heavy fire, not only on social media but also outdoors.
Australian surfers have organized some of the largest paddle-outs in the history of the sport and showed their discontent toward the oil company's project.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) announced the reception of more than 30,000 submissions during the 30-day public comment period.
Equinor will now prepare a report detailing how it has considered relevant comments and identify amendments made to the environment plan as a result of the thousands of comments received.
But the protests will continue. And the Australian surfing community will not stop until the Norwegian oil company puts an end to a project that brings problems and tragedies of the past into the future.
As a primitive, high-risk activity, offshore drilling has no place in the world's oceans.