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Standing Guard with the Toroa / Albatross

Press Release
26 August 2014

Standing Guard with the Toroa / Albatross

Anyone entering Otago Harbour will be welcomed by a giant Toroa/albatross on the roof of the Quarantine Island chapel. It was painted on Sunday by St Martin Island (Quarantine Is) Community and Oil Free Otago members.

Last year the Island Community erected a “No Drill” sign on their jetty in response to oil company Anadarko commencing drilling within 60km of the harbour mouth. “We chose to remove the sign after Anadarko's drilling ship left” said St Martin Island Community spokesperson Francine Vella, “but the “No Drill” sentiment remains. We believe strongly in protecting our beautiful ocean and wildlife. We do not want oil companies drilling here. The Toroa is a symbol of hope for a healthy sustainable future. We cannot continue to increase carbon emissions through drilling for more gas and oil to burn, without risking that future.”

The albatross is the logo of Oil Free Otago, a group opposed to deep sea drilling in the Canterbury and Great South Basins.
Oil Free Otago spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden said “Anadarko’s drillship is long gone for now but other companies plan to do seismic testing this coming summer, and more exploration drilling after that. Our job is far from over. Oil companies are not welcome here.”

“We had a lovely day painting our albatross” said Ms Penwarden. “It symbolises how we feel about our harbour, our oceans and wildlife. We care about this place and want to protect it. The albatross is standing guard with us.”

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