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Energy, Environment

SEISMIC BLASTING RALLY – OCT 22 WARRNAMBOOL

Southern Ocean Protection Embassy Collective (SOPEC) 6 mins read
SOPEC

MEDIA RELEASE

 

The Gunditjmara-led Southern Ocean Protection Embassy Collective (SOPEC), with the support of allies and local groups in the South West have called a rally against seismic blasting on October 22, 2023. 

There are growing concerns about a suite of proposals to conduct seismic blasting in coastal waters spanning the length of the iconic Great Ocean Road coastline and beyond, across the whole of Gunditjmara Sacred lands and Sea Country. 

Our local communities will gather to show opposition to these projects on Sunday October 22nd at the Warrnambool Breakwater at 2pm. 

The seismic blasting is commonly used to identify resources beneath the ocean floor, blasting powerful sound waves that have been shown to negatively and harshly impact marine ecosystems. This has raised the concerns of marine biologists, environmentalists. First Nations groups, commercial and local fishermen, swimmers, and surfers. 

Both Warrnambool and Moyne Shire Council recently voted to oppose the plans and committed to advocating to relevant federal ministers and regulators on their behalf. Recently, Raelene Cooper, A traditional Mardudhunera Custodian in Western Australia, successfully won a legal bid to stop Woodside from performing seismic blasting on her Sea Country. This follows on from Dennis Murphy Tipakalippa who won a similar case for the Tiwi Islanders against Santos late last year.

As CGG brings their public consultation to a close, Gunditjmara Whale Songline custodian, Yarran Couzens Bundle, will take up the national fight to protect Sea Country in Warrnambool on Sunday October the 22nd.

The protest comes just 4 years after Warrnambool came out in record numbers to support the successful Fight For The Bight campaign, which saw the Norwegian oil & gas giant, Equinor, withdraw from the Great Australian Bight.

Quotes

"Seismic blasting companies CGG and TGS are not genuinely engaging with or understanding traditional custodians and their deep reciprocal kinship relationships with Sea Country. Traditional owner consultation is never about if a project goes ahead, only how and when. Consultation is NOT consent! In Gunditjmara Country seismic blasting can never coexist  peacefully with ancient living creation Songlines and our sacred traditions. No EP-environmental plan, put forward by any of these companies can truly measure the irreversible damage done by seismic blasting and then drilling into the ocean floor. Many significant Southern Ocean species from the plankton families, including the southern rock lobster to other migratory species like the short finned eel and the largest life on earth, blue whales, along with southern right whales and their nursery waters, have been blatantly dismissed and their rightful place in their own habitats is shown to come last for consideration or isn’t independently and thoroughly researched in these massive fossil fuel extraction projects! Our Gunditjmara First Nations birthrights on our place of belonging, Sacred Country our ancestors have cared for and occupied for thousands of years are also not understood so cannot be “managed” or compromised! We are fighting against the largest blasting survey area in the world! On sacred Songlines!Ancient waters not theirs to destroy! “

 Yaraan Couzens Bundle, Gunditjmara woman and Whale Dreaming Custodian 

 

The Great Southern ocean is an incredibly unique part of the world, providing a home to a large and diverse range of species that we are lucky enough to live alongside. Many of these species are not mentioned even once in any of the environmental plans put forward by seismic testing companies, meaning the potential levels of harm seismic testing could cause is unknown. Why must our local environment bear the burden of risk, especially when we know these systems are already so delicate? When the seismic testing companies can’t even show a basic understanding of highschool science concepts during community consultations, it begs the question of how they can be trusted to thoroughly address more complex environmental concerns.

 Zoe Brittain Deakin University Marine Science Phd candidate and protest organiser

 

I also appreciate the converse argument about Australia relying on a variety of energy sources. However, my view is that Australia does not have a gas supply problem, it has a gas export problem. As far as I’m aware almost 80% of Australia's gas is exported. So we have, and we have had plenty, we just aren’t keeping much for ourselves. [That] we should accept the idea of disturbing and impacting our marine environment to facilitate searching for more?...To me it’s a completely illogical concept.

 Cr Angie Paspaliaris, Warrnambool City Council


Images of Yaraan- Couzens Bundle – Gunditjmara Whale Dreaming Custodian

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

The Gunditjmara-led Southern Ocean Protection Embassy Collective (SOPEC), with the support of allies and local groups in the South West have called a rally against

 

seismic blasting on October 22, 2023. 

 

 

There are growing concerns about a suite of proposals to conduct seismic blasting in coastal

waters spanning the length of the iconic Great Ocean Road coastline and beyond, across

the whole of Gunditjmara Sacred lands and Sea Country. 

Our local communities will gather to show opposition to these projects on Sunday October

22nd at the Warrnambool Breakwater at 2pm. 

The seismic blasting is commonly used to identify resources beneath the ocean floor,

blasting powerful soundwaves that have been shown to negatively and harshly impact

marine ecosystems. This has raised the concerns of marine biologists, environmentalists,

First Nations groups, commercial and local fishermen, swimmers, and surfers. 

Both Warrnambool and Moyne Shire Council recently voted to oppose the plans and

committed to advocating to relevant federal ministers and regulators on their behalf.

Recently, Raelene Cooper, A traditional Mardudhunera Custodian in Western Australia,

successfully won a legal bid to stop Woodside from performing seismic blasting on her Sea

Country. This follows on from Dennis Murphy Tipakalippa who won a similar case for the

Tiwi Islanders against Santos late last year.

As CGG brings their public consultation to a close, Gunditjmara Whale Songline custodian,

Yarran Couzens Bundle, will take up the national fight to protect Sea Country in

Warrnambool on Sunday October the 22nd.

The protest comes just 4 years after Warrnambool came out in record numbers to support

the successful Fight For The Bight campaign, which saw the Norwegian Oil & Gas giant,

Equinor, withdraw from the Great Australian Bight.

Quotes

Seismic blasting companies CGG and TGS are not genuinely engaging with or

understanding traditional custodians and their deep reciprocal kinship relationships with Sea

Country. Traditional owner consultation is never about if a project goes ahead, only how and

when. Consultation is NOT consent! In Gunditjmara Country seismic blasting can never

coexist  peacefully with ancient living creation Songlines and our sacred traditions. No EP-

environmental plan, put forward by any of these companies can truly measure the

irreversible damage done by seismic blasting and then drilling into the ocean floor.

Many significant Southern Ocean species from the Plankton families, including the

Southern Rock Lobster to other migratory species like the Short Finned Eel and the largest

life on earth, Blue Whales, along with Southern Right whales and their nursery waters, have

been blatantly dismissed and their rightful place in their own habitats is shown to come last

for consideration or isn’t independently and thoroughly researched in these massive fossil

fuel extraction projects! Our Gunditjmara First Nations birthrights on our place of belonging,

Sacred Country our ancestors have cared for and occupied for thousands of years are also

not understood so cannot be “managed” or compromised! 

We are fighting against the largest blasting survey area in the world! On sacred Songlines!

Ancient waters not theirs to destroy! “

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

 Yaraan Couzens Bundle, Gunditjmara woman and Whale Dreaming Custodian 

 

The Great Southern ocean is an incredibly unique part of the world, providing a home to a

large and diverse range of species that we are lucky enough to live alongside. Many of these

species are not mentioned even once in any of the environmental plans put forward by

seismic testing companies, meaning the potential levels of harm seismic testing could cause

is unknown. Why must our local environment bear the burden of risk, especially when we

know these systems are already so delicate? When the seismic testing companies can’t

even show a basic understanding of highschool science concepts during community

consultations, it begs the question of how they can be trusted to thoroughly address more

complex environmental concerns.

 Zoe Brittain Deakin University Marine Science Phd candidate and protest organiser

I also appreciate the converse argument about Australia relying on a variety of energy

sources. However, my view is that Australia does not have a gas supply problem, it has a

gas export problem. As far as I’m aware almost 80% of Australia's gas is exported. So we

have, and we have had plenty, we just aren’t keeping much for ourselves. [That] we should

accept the idea of disturbing and impacting our marine environment to facilitate searching for

more?...To me it’s a completely illogical concept.

 

 Cr Angie Paspaliaris, Warrnambool City Council

Images of Yaraan- Couzens Bundle – Gunditjmara Whale Dreaming Custodian

 

Campaign song: Upwelling - By Carli Reeve

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c4gQYtYYDgYQ6XfsVer_rMAbb6LWA7xc/view?usp=sharing

 


Contact details:

Media Enquiries:

Zoe Brittian - 0411 670 137

Yaraan Couzens-Bundle - 0431 588 512

 

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