Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Petroleum Exploration Permit 11, known as PEP 11, will not go ahead. During a press conference in Terrigal on Thursday, Morrison said the Government would refuse the application of the PEP 11 project.
PEP 11 is an oil and gas licence to allow offshore drilling on the NSW coast. It covered about 8,200 square metres of ocean between Newcastle and Wollongong. It has been controversial due to the impact it would have on local ecosystems, coastal communities and the climate.
Independent MP Zali Steggall introduced a Bill in October this year to cancel PEP 11. The Bill was blocked by Parliament at the time. It came after Steggall tabled a petition in February 2020, which was signed by more than 60,000 people who opposed PEP 11.
During the press conference, Morrison clarified that the Government will continue to invest in gas development in other areas of the country, saying this is crucial to Australia’s post-COVID economy. “We also believe as a Government that the gas industry has an important role to play right across the country in supporting our pathway to net-zero emissions, and to also… keep jobs in place with reliable and affordable energy, which is so critical to jobs all the way up this coast,” Morrison said in the press conference.
“Gas is an important part of Australia’s current and future energy mix but this is not the right project for these communities and pristine beaches and waters. From Newcastle through to Wollongong my Government has listened to the concerns of local Liberal Members and candidates and their communities and we’re putting our foot down.” — Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement