Shorten shares stance on offshore drilling with Gilmore surfers

Milton-Ulladulla's peaceful protest at Mollymook Beach in March.
Milton-Ulladulla's peaceful protest at Mollymook Beach in March.

Surfers on the South Coast have staged a number of protests to oppose oil drilling operations in the Great Australian Bight, two of which are expected to draw hundreds to Kiama and Mollymook on the weekend.

In Nowra on Wednesday, when questioned on Labor's stance towards drilling in the Bight, party leader Bill Shorten revealed his plan.

"There is a company [Norwegian oil giant Equinor] that is doing some test drilling in the Bight, one of the first things I'll do when I get into government is an oil spill study," Mr Shorten said.

"I want to understand the consequences of an oil spill in the Bight.

"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."

Bill Shorten in Nowra on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Bill Shorten in Nowra on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Gerringong surfer and Kiama paddle out organiser Rusty Moran said he was pleased to hear it's on the Labor Party's radar.

"He's listening, that's a good starting point," Mr Moran said.

"It's better than what the current government are saying

"The Greens' policy is dead against it. Labor's sitting in the middle. I would love to see both parties adopt the Greens' policy."

 Rusty Moran with surf students at Seven Mile Beach.

Rusty Moran with surf students at Seven Mile Beach.

The small business owner does not agree with every Greens' policy, but he thinks they're on the money when ruling out drilling off the coast of Australia.

While promoting the paddle out, which starts at 10am on Saturday at Kiama Harbour, detractors have provided plenty of food for thought.

"This has been a fantastic platform for surfers to consider what are our boards and wetsuits are made from," Mr Moran said.

"We need to break the cycle of dependency on petrochemical materials, which in the short term are cheap, but in the long term are environmentally devastating.

"If the oil's not available, emerging technology will eventually become affordable."

This story Shorten shares stance on offshore drilling with Gilmore surfers first appeared on South Coast Register.