BY BENJAMIN MARKS
Thousands of activists have performed an on-sea protest against a Norwegian-owned energy company that plans to deep sea drill for oil off the Great Australian Bight.
The St Kilda-based protest took place on Sunday, but forms part of rolling activism across the country.
The events, known as Fight for the Bight Paddle Outs, have seen thousands of surfers unite Australia-wide in the floating protest.
Melbourne paddle out organiser Marvin Barker said he feared a major oil spill from deep drill exploration was a real possibility.
“If there’s a spill in winter, there’s almost no chance of even containing it,” Mr Barker said.
“Even if there’s no spill, they do this thing called seismic blasting that completely interrupts many marine animals forms of communication," he said.
"Even in a best-case scenario there will be thousands of wildlife killed in the process."
Equinor has proposed searching for oil 270 kilometres off the coast, at a depth of 2.5 kilometres.
An environmental risk paper prepared by the company and obtained by the ABC showed, in the event of a spill, oil could reach Port Macquarie in New South Wales and Margaret River in Western Australia "in the worst credible case".
Indigenous leaders Jaeden Williams and Bunna Lawrie said their ancestors has respected the land and oceans for more than 60,000 years.
“There is only one planet in the universe that’s got whales,” Mr Lawrie said.
The paddle out movement gained momentum in Norway after Norwegian Greens MP Kristoffer Robin Haug declared he was opposed to Equinor's drilling.
The energy company is 67% owned by the Norwegian Government.
The next Fight for the Bight Paddle Out will take place in Sydney on April 28.