12 Feburary, 2020
I rise to table a document, subject to the approval of the Standing Committee on Petitions, signed by more than 60,000 concerned residents who are united in their opposition to offshore seismic blasting and drilling for gas in the pristine waters that stretch from Newcastle to Manly. This much-loved and beautiful marine environment is an area of rich biodiversity and is part of the whale migration path. This coastline is also home to internationally famous beaches and sustains significant local industry and tourism.
This stunning area has become rather clinically known as PEP 11 in reference to petroleum exploration permit 11, which it is subject to. A private company, Advent Energy, has been given approval for underwater seismic testing and is now applying for a permit for underwater gas drilling. The very thought that we would use these waters to drill for fossil fuels is appalling, and 60,000 people agree.
I commend the Save Our Coast group for their concerted efforts in drawing the public's attention to this issue and for compiling this petition. Whilst the planned seismic testing has been abandoned, Advent Energy is proceeding with its plans for drilling. This is totally unacceptable and brings renewed energy and urgency to the petition I submit today. Thank you, Natasha and Save Our Coast, for your care of our precious coastline.