No drilling in Bight: good news for KI

Kangaroo Island Council was pleased to learn of BP’s decision to withdraw from drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

Since 2011 Council's position has been to support the utmost standards of safety being employed in the exploration process, and this was reconfirmed by Council this week, prior to BP’s announcement being made.

Kangaroo Island Council Mayor Peter Clements said that in terms of safety, no drilling is certainly the safest outcome.

He said, "In my view the fact that BP has now pulled out of exploration in the Great Australian Bight is testament to the fact that the standards of safety required to operate in such an operationally volatile area could not be met. 

“This appears to be the view of the regulator NOPSEMA, as we know BP's environmental plan was rejected twice and possibly for the last time this week.

"There is no doubt that oil and gas will be around for decades to come but this strategic rejection by BP of exploring in the Bight is a welcome correction and I hope the lesser and more inexperienced stakeholders in the Bight come to the same logical conclusion.  

“It would be exceedingly difficult for our environment to recover from an oil spill of magnitude, as has happened elsewhere in the world – and in much calmer and considerably shallower waters.

“Thousands of existing jobs in industries that rely on our clean marine environment all along the South Australian coast, such as fishing, aquaculture and tourism, could be wiped out.

"We have won the battle this week but the war is yet to be won. I believe it is the duty of all leaders to protect our children's future and to think past our own lifetimes.”

Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie MP said, “My community is overwhelmingly delighted with this decision.

“Mayo includes the Fleurieu Peninsula and $8 billion worth of tourism comes into South Australia, so that’s a lot to lose if we have an oil spill.”

Ms Sharkie continued, “What we have is thousands of jobs along the coastline.

“Eco tourism is the future of this region and that’s where there will be the biggest growth in Australian jobs.”