Jason Falinski and Dave Sharma, the members for Mackellar and Wentworth, as well as NSW Senator Andrew Bragg, have welcomed the support of the member for Warringah to end the Petroleum Exploration Licence 11 (PEP 11) for gas and oil offshore exploration off the Greater Sydney and Newcastle coast.
“This licence is destined for the trash can, it must be the most unloved in history. For the last five years, members of both the Liberal and Labor parties have, with their communities, campaigned hard against the renewal of this licence; so it is positive news to have a member of the cross bench come out against it too.
“In October 2020, a motion moved in the House of Representatives calling for PEP 11 not to be renewed received bipartisan support from Liberals Trent Zimmerman and Dave Sharma, plus Labor’s Emma McBride, Sharon Claydon and Pat Conroy.
“Two months later the Prime Minister, with Lucy Wicks, confirmed his opposition to PEP 11. “The NSW State Government is opposed to PEP 11.
The Deputy Premier John Barilaro, along with James Griffin and Rob Stokes, have all spoken out against it. And of course, communities up and down the coast have backed this campaign to end the licence. “It is difficult to find anyone who does support PEP 11. As the motion debated in parliament in October 2020 showed, there was no one who wanted to speak up in favour of PEP 11.”
PEP 11 impacts the coastline between Wollongong and Newcastle with the decision currently sitting with the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. Keith Pitt, who is well aware of our united opposition.
“It is a matter of when, not if,we are putting a stake through the heart of this unloved and unwanted licence that has hung like the sword of Damocles over the heads of our communities from Wollongong to Newcastle,” Jason Falinski and Dave Sharma said.
“For five long years all these people have worked hard to bring a ‘fin’ to the daytime Bold and the Beautiful drama of PEP 11.“At the moment we are facing a grave global crisis that is keeping our children from school, people from work, families apart, while stopping businesses from doing business. We are focussed on getting our communities to the other side of this intact. The PEP 11 licence is not being renewed in a lockdown. The last thing our parliament needs, or our communities, is another waste of time bill diverting it from its work of resolving our present crisis. You cannot replicate five years work in five minutes,” Jason Falinski said.
NSW Senator Andrew Bragg called out the Member for Warringah, saying “this is more stunts, gimmicks and straw men from a totally ineffectual member. PEP 11 is a dead letter. It is friendless and will never go ahead.”
Dave Sharma added, “my opposition to PEP 11 is well-known and longstanding. It is welcome that the member for Warringah is on board, but the legislative timeframe is far too slow to address this issue with a bill, a bill which none of us have seen, and which would need to go through the normal processes of parliamentary scrutiny and committee oversight.”
The Members for Mackellar and Wentworth reiterate their calls from June this year for Minister Keith Pitt to end the uncertainty and formally decide that PEP 11 will not be renewed.