SA Polling: World Heritage Protection for Bight More Popular Than Ever

New research from The Australia Institute has found that, for the first time, more than four in five South Australians (84%) support World Heritage Protection for the Great Australian Bight. That is a 7% increase, when compared to polling undertaken in March of 2019.

The research also shows that two out of three South Australians (66%) believe the Bight would be a more productive asset for the state as a World Heritage listed marine park, than it would be as an oil field.

Key Findings

–          84% of South Australians support World Heritage protection, including 53% who strongly support it.

–          66% of South Australians say the Bight would be a more productive asset as a World Heritage listed marine park than as an oil field

–          60% of South Australians say, if companies are allowed to drill for oil in the Bight, the South Australian people should receive the majority of any resulting profits. Previous Australia Institute research has shown the South Australian people will receive around 1/40th, or 2.5%, of what company shareholders will receive.

“Our research shows that South Australians want the Great Australian Bight to be protected,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, Director of The Australia Institute SA.

“Properly valuing an internationally significant environmental and ecological asset such as the Great Australian Bight means protecting it from exploitation.

“More than 10,000 jobs in coastal tourism, fisheries and aquaculture rely on heathy oceans in SA. That would all be put at risk if a catastrophic oil spill was allowed to take place.

“We know from Equinor’s own modelling that communities along the entire southern coastline of mainland Australia and Tasmania could be hit by a major spill.

“The environmental and economic impact of a spill would be devastating and, in a well-functioning democracy, politicians should listen to the vast majority of South Australians who want to see the Bight protected.”

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