Twitter gives an insight into both sides of the BP drilling debate

IT has certainly been an interesting news week across the West Coast region.

Twitter can give a good insight into social issues impacting the EP.

Twitter can give a good insight into social issues impacting the EP.

I followed a Twitter thread online last Tuesday night, after the news about BP pulling its plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight broke. The thread was a good insight into both sides of the debate.

Someone with an environment focus was essentially saying ‘good riddance’ to BP and its plans.

But a second person who worked in the social impact industry replied and the pair had a conversation (in 140 characters or less) about the effect this decision would have on Ceduna.

While the decision may be good ultimately from an environmental point of view, the fact remains that BP was looking to invest a substantial amount of money in the Far West region, creating jobs in a remote area where job growth and promotion is often lacking.

The social impact worker stated that “the EP and a couple of areas around it have been hit by some big industry closures of late” and referenced the suspension of mining from Iluka’s Jacinth-Ambrosia zircon mineral sands mine due to subdued global demand for the product.

It’s a good point. We do need jobs in order to grow our communities and complement existing industries, like farming, where workers and their families are always doing it tough. But it’s up to us as community members to decide whether certain industries are what we want for our communities.

The nuclear issue just adds to the debate.

I spoke to one of the engagement team leaders last week for the state project. He said some people were rightly concerned, while last month’s power outages fuelled other people’s need for action, with one of the comments made to him that the state government should “just get on with it”.

Everyone has different opinions on these issues, but, at the end of the day, hard decisions do need to be made in order to make progress. I’m just glad I’m not the one having to make the decisions on these issues!

While these kinds of debates are going on, the Eyre Peninsula has also shown just how top notch it is.

Pope’s Honey and Butterfields Farm Direct Horse and Stock Feed won awards at the 2016 South Australian Regional Awards at Port Augusta on October 8.

Congratulations to both businesses, you have done the EP proud.

Kaitlyn Fasso-Opie, West Coast editor