Save SA from fossil fuel expansion


Premier Marshall's press release: New Petroleum Exploration Acreage in Cooper and Otway Basins

In May the SA government issued an invitation for new bids on petroleum (gas and/or oil) exploration licences - the 5 orange areas in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins and the 3 yellow areas in the Otway Basin shown in the maps below. [Click on the maps to see them enlarged.]

Cooper and Eromanga BasinsOtway Basin

We are in a climate emergency, and the last thing we need is to explore for yet more fossil fuels!

Click here to sign our petition to save SA from fossil fuel expansion

See the Open Letter below for our case for asking for the SA government to reverse the May 2019 invitation to bid for gas and oil exploration licences in the Cooper, Eromanga, and Otway Basins and to ban any NEW fossil fuel exploration and extraction projects in SA. We are inviting climate/environment groups, affected councils, businesses, and eminent SA individuals to co-sign our Open Letter.

Please email us at if your group or local council would like to co-sign the Open Letter below.

Dear Premier Marshall, Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, David Speirs MP, and members of the Premier's Climate Council,

We are writing in response to the announcement on May 27 2019 stating that 'Bidding is now open for five new Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs) in the Cooper Basin in the State’s Far North and three new petroleum exploration licences in the Otway Basin in the State’s Limestone Coast region'.[1] Gas and oil companies have until November 29 to apply for these exploration licences.

We are in a global climate emergency and the October 2018 IPCC Special Report has warned that a rapid phase out of fossil fuel use is essential. Climate impacts are already killing people and destroying ecosystems, and inviting new fossil fuel exploration and extraction will lead to yet more climate damage.

The easiest and least disruptive step towards phasing out fossil fuel use is to stop new fossil fuel exploration and extraction before it starts.

We, the undersigned, ask you to revoke the May 2019 release of oil and gas exploration areas in the Cooper, Eromanga, and Otway Basins and to ban all further fossil fuel exploration and all new fossil fuel extraction projects (those not yet approved) in South Australia.

During the transition to renewable forms of energy, supply of gas for backup electricity generation, industry, and household use is guaranteed by clauses attached to the 2017 PACE grants for recent new gas extraction projects.[2] Any further new gas extraction in South Australia is likely to mean more gas exports - we don't need it.

South Australia already has over 50% renewable electricity, meaning that all-electric households (even those without solar PV) have much lower carbon emissions than those households that still use gas appliances.[3] They also have lower energy bills, so the trend away from domestic gas use is likely to continue.

The possibility that new fossil fuel projects might create new jobs is no excuse for allowing new climate-damaging projects. In 2017-18 renewable energy projects provided 17,740 direct jobs in Australia[4], with more employment guaranteed as further projects are rolled out.

It is a myth that fossil fuels make anyone except fossil fuel companies rich. Total fossil fuel royalties for South Australia in 2017-18 were only $86 million[5], suggesting possible missed revenue of maybe $10 million/year if new fossil fuel extraction is banned.

We ask you to step up as a climate leader and take at least this first and easiest step in response to the climate emergency by banning new fossil fuel projects in South Australia and revoking the May 2019 release of oil and gas exploration areas.

Yours faithfully,
Fossil Free SA and the co-signers shown below


Co-signers so far:

District Council of Grant
District Council of Robe
350 Australia
Adelaide Sustainable Building Network
Australian Education Union SA branch
Australian Parents for Climate Action
Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) SA
Cafe Troppo
Climate Reality
Community Action for Sustainability Inc, Mt Gambier
Conservation SA
Doctors for the Environment SA
Eco-Action Kangaroo Island
EcoLateral Sustainable Living Products
Friends of the Earth Adelaide
GetUp Adelaide Action Group
Knitting Nannas Adelaide South Australia
Lighting & Integration
Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council
Limestone Coast Protection Alliance
Marion Living Smarties
Renew Adelaide branch (formerly Alternative Technology Association)
Resonant Solutions
Rise Up Singing Adelaide
School Strike 4 Climate
Solar Citizens SA
Sustainable Communities SA
The Wild South
Mark Parnell MLC
Tammy Franks MLC
Professor Robert S. Hill, Director, Environment Institute, The University of Adelaide
Associate Professor Jochen Kaempf, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University