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Otway Climate Emergency Action Network

An informed and motivated Otways community taking bold and effective action for climate justice by protecting our coast and country from the threat of unsustainable development


Many thanks to Jackson Hayat (film maker, animator), Hayley Nolle (artwork) and Patagonia for funding this short film project.

Update on the Otway Basin

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Learn more about gas and seismic in the Otway Basin.

Join our community and vital work.

Seismic testing awareness goes mainstream

The Guardian published a major news piece on Seismic testing, explaining how exploring this latest large release of ocean acreage for gas development fifteen years away is at odds with emissions reduction targets.

March Against
Seismic Testing & Gas Expansion
in the Otway Basin.

OCEAN marched down the main street of Apollo Bay to raise awareness of Seismic Testing and Gas Exploration in the Otway Basin. Yaraan Bundle, proud Gunditjmara woman, spoke after the march about bringing awareness to sea country and protection of the Southern Right Whale (Koontapool) and their song line country. She paid her respects to the Gadubanud country and praised OCEAN on their efforts to care for country. Please have a listen to Yaraan, she is inspiring. OCEAN also launched it's NO NEW GAS bins campaign.

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Taking Seismic to the City

”Seismic testing is a dark, dirty and destructive secret happening beneath Australian waters, out of sight and out of mind of the everyday person. Were the same amount of unaccountable destruction happening on terrestrial Australia there would be riots in the street. However, the silent world beneath the waves is suffering devastation without reason and without much regulation on environmental impacts, other than by the very same people who are carrying it out.“ - Taki

On March 19th 2021 OCEAN and Apollo Bay Lobster Fishermen protested Seismic Testing at the doors of NOPSEMA’s Melbourne Office (National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority).  The small crowd of approx. 100 people then Marched down Bourke street to Parliament Steps. The event was named “Taking Seismic to the City” because the people of Apollo Bay believe that if people in the cities knew about seismic testing and the devastating effects on the marine life they would oppose it very strongly.

What is Seismic Testing?

Seismic testing is the process of locating gas and oil deposits deep beneath the ocean floor. This is done by triling an air gun off the back f a boat, which send out sonic blasts 24 hours a day, every 10 seconds, at up to 256 decibels for months at a time. To give perspective, a jet engine at 50m is 140 decibels, so it’s no longer a sound than human ears can hear, its more of a burst of energy so powerful that it kills and causes permanent and significant damage to many species of marine life. The full extent of the damage done is not known and that suits the authorites and the gas and oil industry very nicely.

Please feel free to watch, share or use parts of our film to help spread the word about destructive Seismic Testing. Crediting OCEAN and Jackson Hayat films.

Write to state and federal energy and environment ministers to express your concern.

Madeline King                                      

Tanya Pilbersek                                   

Chris Bowen                                         

Dan Tehan                                            

Letter templates are available to download here:

OCEAN Contact Details:

Mobile 0456931323

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OCEAN activists disrupt Seismic Survey Ship
enroute to King Island waters.

Geelong, VIC, Sunday August 15, 1:30 AEST - Today a group of activists were
arrested for disrupting the loading of the seismic survey ship the Geo Coral whilst in
the Port of Corio, Geelong. The ship is enroute to explore for new gas and oil in the
Otway Basin west of King Island. Over 40 protesters approached the ship on
surfboards and blockaded the high security gateway to the port.

The offshore title to be surveyed is owned by gas and oil companies’ 3D Oil and
ConocoPhillips and covers an area of 4,089 square kms. The plans have rung alarm
bells for fishers, environmentalists and King Islanders. Surrounding Councils
including Colac Otway Shire, Surf Coast and King Island Council have officially
opposed seismic testing in the waters of the Otway Basin.
Seismic blasting involves releasing 259 decibel blasts from the rear of the ship, to
determine gas and oil deposits deep below the ocean floor.

Lisa Deppeler from OCEAN explains “The blasts are so loud they are no longer a
sound you can actually hear; they are a massive shock wave of energy; scientific
evidence confirms the blasts kill, damage and disturb a huge array of marine
creatures including whales. Research has shown blasts destroy zooplankton for at
least 1.5kms radius. These blasts go off every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day
sometimes for months on end.

Torquay Surfer Belinda Baggs led the paddle out to the ship. “We are frustrated by
the token consultation offered by our government regulator, NOPSEMA (National
Offshore Petroleum Safety Environment Management Authority). We write letters
and respond to what little opportunity there is from NOPSEMA but our efforts are just
ignored. NOPSEMA is just another arm of the gas and oil industry as far as I’m

Trevor Barker, 3rd generation fisherman from Apollo Bay attended the protest in
Corio. Trevor says he has seen a significant decline in crayfish catches over the last
few years. Fishing grounds that have been blasted can take more than 5 years to
recover after a seismic ship has been through.

Lisa Deppeler OCEAN concluded by saying “Today was a rare opportunity to interact
with a survey vessel. We hope our efforts have raised awareness about the
existence of seismic ships and seismic testing to the public. It’s a dirty little secret
that the gas and oil industry would prefer we didn’t know about. It happens out to
sea, out of sight and out of mind of ordinary Australians”.

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