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PEP-11 is Dead in the Water

By Dave Sharma, MP for Wentworth on February 3, 2022 in Other

Dave and Anthony ‘Harries’ Carroll at Bronte. Photo: Jodie Matthews 

After a two-year struggle, working alongside some local community groups and concerned citizens, the offshore oil-and-gas licence covering the coastal waters off Sydney, PEP-11, has been terminated by the Federal Government.
This is a massive win for our community, and for all those who care for the health of our oceans.
In December 2020 I wrote in The Beast that I was opposed to PEP-11, and asked the community to sign a petition supporting me. Many of you did, and got in touch with me to tell me you supported my campaign, and one year later we have delivered.
In this part of Sydney we are fortunate to be custodians of some of the world’s most pristine coastline, with beaches and bays that people travel from around the world to visit.
The PEP-11 licence posed a threat to this. It allowed oil and gas companies to drill for fossil fuels off a 4,500 kilometre stretch of our coastline, all the way from Newcastle to Manly. This area is one of the most densely populated and trafficked strips of ocean in the world. It’s also one of the most beautiful and most iconic.
If you live here, take the ferry to work, volunteer at one of our surf clubs, take the kids to Nippers, have a swim or a surf in the morning or at the end of the day, or regularly do one of our amazing coastal walks like the Bondi to Bronte or Hermitage Foreshore walk, then you had a stake in stopping PEP-11.
In October 2020, I moved a motion calling for the end of PEP-11 in Parliament. I have since spoken against it a number of times in the Parliament, and expressed my opposition directly to the Prime Minister and other senior ministers.
Working closely alongside my coastal Liberal colleagues, particularly Lucy Wicks and Jason Falinski, we advocated loudly and persistently for the government to reject the licence renewal application and terminate the project.
Our success with this campaign is due in no small part to the high level of community engagement, from all of you who care about the health of our oceans and our planet. Thank you – we could not have achieved this without you.