More than 100 people took a leap off the Port Campbell pier on Sunday to protest deep sea drilling the Great Australian Bight.
Fishermen, surfers, divers and families joined forces to tell big oil to “go jump”, and to convince the Shire of Corangamite to formally oppose drilling the The Bight.
Simon Illingsworth was the only Corangmite councillor at the event, taking the plunge off the pier himself.
He said he planned to put a motion to the next council meeting similar to one passed by Moyne Shire opposing the drilling.
Cr Illingsworth said the other councillors had not given him any indication either way about how they would vote.
“Honestly it’s just going to be so devastating for businesses and fishing and our environment which people from around the world come and see,” he said.
“For me it’s a no-brainer”
He said Sunday’s turnout was “massive” estimating the crowd number to be between 400 and 500.
“We didn’t no expect these sort of numbers,” he said.
“We’re a town of 300 people, we were hoping for 50.
“The pier was full and the energy was awesome.”
Port Campbell Boardriders president Olivia Tutungi, who organised the event, said she was humbled by the turnout to the which was part of the Fight for the Bight movement.
“If there was to be a big spill like the gulf of Mexico, it would basically be Armageddon for the entire south of Australia down to Tasmania,” Ms Tutungi said. She said the protest was specifically targetting deep sea drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
All the southern shires in South Australia had jumped on board and formally opposed drilling in The Bight, as well as two in Victoria, she said. “The aim is to get all the Victorian shires to formally oppose it,” she said.
Port Campbell Professional Fisherman's Association secretary Marion Gordon said she was concerned there could be a repeat of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
“Research has been done to show that, because this is taking place in such deep water, and if there was a spill, it could extend along the coast here up as far as Sydney, New Zealand and Tasmania,” she said.
“This is a unique ecosytem and it would devastate the fishing industry and all the communities along the coast.
“We’ve seen in the gulf of Mexico, the devastation an oil spill can cause.”