Monday, 7 December 2020
Statements by Members
Today I was pleased to join a cross-party group of parliamentarians to welcome a delegation of passionate citizens concerned that oil and gas rigs could be established off our East Coast. Members of the Surfrider Foundation Australia and Save Our Coast are in Canberra today to meet with decision-makers and to hand over 40,000 messages of community concern about the PEP 11 petroleum exploration permit, which runs from Newcastle to northern Sydney.
The PEP 11 proponents have made clear that their ultimate goal is to establish drilling rigs in these precious waters. This would be an absolute travesty. This extension would threaten our precious marine environment, damage our reputation and impose a direct threat to jobs in our tourism and commercial fishing industries. That's why I was very proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with community members today and say no to PEP 11. I'd like to thank these community campaigners for their time and commitment. I'd also like to recognise the thousands of Novocastrians who have contacted me directly, to let me know how important this issue is to them.
The final decision now rests with the resources minister, Mr Keith Pitt. Minister, I say to you: my community has lived with the spectre of oil and gas rigs off our coast for too long. Please, I urge you to stand on the right side of history and to say no to PEP 11 once and for all.