Treading Lightly in the MUD's Monica Mudge is skeptical of the Coalition's announcement that if re-elected it will commission an independent audit of exploratory drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
On Saturday, more than 250 peaceful protesters united with their hands across the sand at Mollymook beach, to show solidarity against Norweigan oil company Equinor's plans to commence exploratory drilling the Great Australian Bight.
On Thursday, May 16, a Liberal Party media statement said it would set up an independent audit of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority's (NOPSEMA) current consideration of exploration in the Great Australian Bight.
The statement said the audit will be jointly commissioned by the Minister for Resources and the Minister for the Environment.
The Hands Across the Sand organiser was concerned about the announcement as the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) had this week approved 3D Oil's plans to use seismic testing when it explores for oil and gas reserves 18 kilometres west of King Island, Tasmania.
"Really, is it [an independent audit] a waste of taxpayers' money," she said.
"At least they are listening to protests, our voices are making some waves to speak."
In Nowra, opposition leader Bill Shorten said he would call for an oil spill study into the Great Australian Bight.
"I want to understand the consequences of an oil spill in the Bight," he said.
"This is a new development. No one has said that, but we want to understand, what are the consequences. I think that's what's concerning a lot of the surfers and the people who care about our coastline."
Mrs Mudge said her group plans to present a petition calling on Shoalhaven City Council to be the first New South Wales council to oppose drilling in the Bight, joining 17 other councils in Australia.
The petition has collected more than 1400 signatures.
"There has to be more protection of the environment and respect to the people of South Australia who genuinely care for their future, and particularly Indigenous people. We should really pay respect [to their concerns]."