Surfers For Climate director Belinda Baggs.
A growing number of surfers are taking on the Federal Government to protect the Australian coastline from offshore oil and gas exploration. Surfers For Climate, an organisation founded by Australia’s top surfers – including World Surf League professional Adrian Buchan and former Ironman Ky Hurst – launched a petition this week calling for an end to the Government’s “outdated offshore release process of automatically allowing permits for potential oil and gas exploration” around the Australian coastline, including the Otway Basin.
Surfers For Climate director and professional longboard rider Belinda Baggs said: “Every year, Australia’s waters are placed on the chopping block as areas are chosen for exploration without consideration of climate, environment or community, and no traditional owner consultation. Our precious oceans are no place for a gas and oil field. We demand changes to this harebrained system that allows the fossil fuel industry to continually place our climate, coastlines, communities and waves in the firing line.
“How many more oil and gas drilling projects do we need to fight before enough is enough? The ocean provides life to this planet and a hell of a lot of fun for us surfers. Let’s keep it that way.”
Belinda said the automatic exploration permit process “gives away our oceans to private interests, making it virtually impossible to ever protect them properly in the future”. She said Surfers For Climate planned to make a submission to the Government on Friday to end the practice, and urged the public to sign the petition before then to “demonstrate widespread opposition to industrialising the seas in a climate emergency”.
SOURCE: Medianet/Climate Media Centre