According to an analysis by think tank The Australia Institute, while the Federal Government would reap a minimum of 7.4 billion Australian dollars (5.07 billion U.S. dollars) in petroleum taxes over 40 years, the Southern Australia (SA) state government would receive only 300 million Australian dollars (205.7 million U.S. dollars).
By comparison the Norwegian Government, which owns two thirds of Equinor, would make 8.1 billion Australian dollars (5.5 billion U.S. dollars) over 40 years, about approximately 27 times more than SA.
“South Australians are being asked to put some of their most important environmental and economic assets at risk,” Noah Schultz-Byard, the SA director of the Australia Institute, told News Corp Australia on Monday.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in November 2018 published a leaked environment plan authored by Equinor.
The document warned that under a worst-case oil spill in the bight could be the worst in history with oil potentially spreading from Western Australia (WA) to Sydney on the opposite side of the continent.
However, the company has maintained that drilling can be carried out safely and would present a major economic opportunity for SA.
Equinor is the only company going ahead with plans to drill for oil in the bight after BP and Chevron abandoned their own plans for the area.