Equinor currently has an exploratory drilling permit for the Great Australian Bight, but has yet to commence work.
Councillor David Owen, who moved the motion, says any risk of an oil spill was unacceptable.
“We can’t allow the Bight to be put at risk by an accident such as a Deepwater Horizon oil spill that discharged five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010,”
“The impacts would devastate marine life, fisheries and coastal communities and would seriously tarnish the pristine image of the Australian Southern Ocean and beaches.
“The coastlines would be blackened totally and it could take decades to clean up the spill.
“Scientists estimate that 85 per cent of the species that live in the Great Australian Bight are found nowhere else on earth. They are truly unique and absolutely worth fighting for.”
Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert says that Council was united on the issue of off-shore drilling.
“We all felt that the risks associated with mining oil and gas were too great,”
“The coastline of southern Australia could be at risk of an environmental disaster in the event of an oil spill or leak.
“Our community has said time and time again that they highly value out coastline and it is our responsibility to protect what we have.
Council will write to Equinor and the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority advising them of its position.
Council will also write to state and federal ministers, members of parliament and other Victorian councils along the coast urging them to do all they can to support a ban on oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight given its importance for fisheries, tourism, internationally significant ecosystems and some of Australia’s most threatened marine life.