Big Polluter BP invades Great Australian Bight

The 67,000 tonne oil rig Ocean Great White nears completion in Ulsan, South Korea. Photo: Fairfax

A massive oil rig is in its way from South Korea to the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight, courtesy of Labor and the Coalition. It is opposed by the Greens. If BP Petroleum has its way the rig will be in place to drill beneath waters 2000 metres deep, looking for oil and gas, in similar mode to that which led to BP's Deepwater Horizon well oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

BP's application to drill in the whale-filled waters of the Bight has been knocked back twice by the National Offshore and Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority for reasons kept secret from the public. However, the oil giant has put in a third submission and there will be no big surprise if it gets the tick from NOPSEMA this time around.

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