Take Action Today!
The Southern Sea (the ocean between Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia) is at risk of becoming a giant gas field. We need to protect this incredible coastline permanently from fossil fuel exploitation.
Send a letter to your local Federal Member of Parliament, calling on them to stop all new oil & gas exploration in the Southern Sea and protect this wild and beautiful ocean for good.
Want to take an additional action? Sign the Citizens Protection Declaration petition in solidarity with First Nations campaigners, SOPEC
WATCH THE FILM!
Ben & Jerrys and Surfrider have been working on a film together about Saving the Southern Sea, and we are about to hit the road with a veggie powered icecream truck on a big trip around the east coast of Australia.
Running from 8 October to 12 December from Hobart to Noosa then back down to Bondi, the film nights are going to be great - and we'd love for you to join! Get your tickets below:Get your ticket here!
Sign The Petition
Want to do something more? Sign the Citizens Protection Declaration to stand in solidarity with First Nations communities asserting their care for Sea Country.
Did you know the beautiful stretch of ocean from Tasmania all the way to South Australia (including the beautiful Great Ocean Road) is at risk of becoming a giant gas field?!
The incredible Southern Sea covering Tasmania to South Australia coastline is raw, wild and abundant in incredible marine life - including endangered blue whales, dolphins, fur seals and little penguins!
The coastal communities that call this place home live among some of the cleanest and most pristine waters in the world. Local communities have built their entire way of life around a healthy Southern Ocean, relying on these waters for their jobs (for things like fishing and tourism) and day to day lifestyle. Yet despite how beautiful, ecologically, economically and spiritually important these coastlines are - right now, they are at risk of becoming a giant oil & gas field.
What's At Risk
Oil & gas corporations (with the support of our governments) are determined to turn the Great Ocean Road into the Great Ocean Industrial Gas Zone.
It doesn’t have the same ring - but last year alone 7 massive zones were put up for fossil fuel exploration, some as close as 5 kms from the world famous 12 Apostles! We know oil and water don’t mix - these plans could be disastrous for the local marine life which calls this place home, the tourism industry who rely on the 6 million tourists who visit the Great Ocean Road each year and most importantly, our entire planet!
And there’s an even bigger risk on the horizon…
Right now, the Southern Sea is threatened by a plan to seismic blast the ocean from Tasmania all the way to South Australia. The proposed area is a whopping 5.5 million hectares, and potentially one of the largest gas & oil seismic test area in history. That’s like blasting nearly the whole of Tasmania!
Seismic blasting is not just devastating for the ocean - it has a dangerous purpose: it's the first step in drilling for oil & gas in the ocean (also called offshore drilling). Offshore drilling is dangerous, dirty and drives the climate crisis. We know that very smart scientists all over the world are saying we cannot afford to pull out any new fossil fuels - if this project goes ahead not only will it risk this incredible coastline but also our entire planet when these fossil fuels are later burned.
Instead of more fossil fuels, we could be setting ourselves up as a renewable energy superpower! We are one of the windiest and sunniest places on the planet, as well as the Southern Ocean having the highest energy ocean in the world so we are perfectly set up to be global leaders of the renewable revolution!
Drilling for oil & gas in the Southern Ocean is a disaster waiting to happen so we need to make sure this place is permanently protected from outrageous plans for gas fields.
We need to stop all new oil & gas projects in the Southern Sea and permanently protect this wild and beautiful ocean from fossil fuel exploitation. But what could this look like, and what steps can be taken to get there? Our ocean loving friends at Surfrider Foundation Australia have a great plan:
Step 1: Stop all new fossil fuel exploration in the Southern Sea!
Instead, invest in renewable technology and infrastructure so that we can power Australia (and the world!) with renewable energy from wind and sunshine. This includes stopping the areas that are already permitted to be drilled that are yet to start, as well as stopping any new activity and exploration.
Step 2: Don’t leave anyone behind!
We must make sure we have a fair transition while we make this switch from fossil fuels to renewables by supporting workers with upskilling and finding new jobs in the renewable revolution.
Step 3: Use our laws to protect, not exploit our oceans!
We need to start using our laws to protect our oceans and coastlines rather than using laws to exploit them. Together by putting pressure on our MPs and leaders, we can pass laws that ensure a future of thriving oceans and coastal communities by stopping future fossil fuel exploration and permanently protecting the Southern Sea.
Step 4: Become world leaders in climate action and create a climate reserve!
We could show the world how it’s done, becoming world leaders in climate action by creating the world's first climate ocean reserve in the Southern Sea - protecting the place from fossil fuel exploitation, and permanently protecting this unique and diverse wilderness for future generations and the health of the planet.
We need your help to get this plan into action - please join our partners Surfrider Foundation to take action and protect the Southern Sea. Send a letter to your parliamentary leaders asking for action, and sign in solidarity with Traditional Owners fighting to protect the Southern Sea. You can take action on the forms above!
Surfrider Foundation Australia are our long time partners in the fight to stop fossil fuels from ruining our favourite places. Surfrider Foundation Australia is a registered not for profit sea-roots organisation dedicated to the protection of Australia’s waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research and education. You can find out more about our friends here.
Seismic surveying (also called ‘seismic blasting’) is the first step in drilling for oil & gas. Explosive shock waves twice as loud as the sound of a jet plane taking off are blasted into the ocean every few seconds, for 24 hours a day, weeks and months on end. These blasts are known to injure and kill marine species, either by the impact of the blasts themselves or by displacing species from traditional migration, feeding and birthing routes.
This plan by giant corporation TGS to seismic blast the Southern Sea may just be the largest seismic survey for oil and gas in history, covering more than 5.5 million hectares of marine environment between Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Seismic blasting has a disastrous impact on marine life. If oil & gas is found, big fossil fuel companies will further threaten these oceans by drilling for oil & gas under the sea.
Drilling for gas in our wild Southern Ocean is a disaster just waiting to happen. Offshore gas rigs and heaving 20 foot monster swells charging in from the south west are a dangerous combination. It happened in the Gulf of Mexico in a calm gulf - imagine the disaster that could unfold if we see this in the Southern Ocean. We’ve already seen it happen in Australia too and it had devastating consequences for our marine environment.
The Southern Sea is a wild place, with violent storms and strong winds and waves. The geography is remote, unmonitored, largely unpopulated and lacks physical infrastructure to respond effectively to an oil spill. Fossil fuel corporations are mainly looking for gas, but where there’s oil there’s gas. A spill could leak millions of barrels of oil into the Southern Sea - devastating ecosystems, marine life, and local communities jobs like fishing and tourism that rely on the health of this ocean.
Not to mention the destructive impacts these gas corporations are having on the climate crisis - we cannot afford any new fossil fuels to be drilled out of the ground. At this time in history we must be taking urgent, powerful action to address the climate and biodiversity crises we face - not continuing expansion of the fossil fuel corporations fuelling the climate crisis while putting our oceans, unique biodiversity and local communities at risk.
At Ben & Jerry’s, we understand that as a for-profit ice cream company, we’re part of the problem, which is why we’ve committed ourselves to be a catalyst for solutions, both within our business and at the economy-wide policy level. We’ve committed to reduce the full lifecycle emissions of our company, which includes our own emissions and our supply chain. You can read more about what we are doing at Ben & Jerry’s, including our science-based targets here.
A big part of this is the carbon tax we charge ourselves - instead of ‘offsetting’ the carbon we create, we inset this by using the money we have taxed ourselves to use technology and nature together to create climate solutions that are long term and that we can share with the wider business community, rather than just offsetting and making our carbon someone else’s problem.
We are really proud of everything we have been doing and we know there is still a way to go, but we will continue working on it. You can find out more of the nitty, gritty details about our environmental work (and social mission work too!) in our latest social & environmental impact report here.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Southern Sea Country - land, sea & sky. We also acknowledge First Nations Traditional Owners, leaders past and present of the lands we are all on and pay respects to their continuing connection to Country. We thank Elders and leaders in all communities for the fight that has been fought and the fight that continues today to protect Country.