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NSW praised as first state to ban offshore oil and gas in its coastal waters

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NSW is being praised for becoming Australia’s first state to ban offshore oil and gas in its coastal waters, effectively slamming the door on PEP-11.

Surfers for Climate and the Wilderness Society both worked alongside communities throughout the Hunter to challenge the proposed Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 project, due to the devastating impact it would have for people, nature and the climate if it went ahead.

Although it was backed by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Resources Keith Pitt, PEP-11 drew the ire of tens of thousands of residents, along with several Labor politicians, in regions from the Northern Beaches to Newcastle.

Surfers for Climate congratulated the NSW Parliament for protecting Australia’s oceans and passing unopposed amendments to its legislation.

“This result proves the power of state governments to act on the big issues that impact all of us,” CEO Josh Kirkman said.

“As warming ocean temperatures wreak havoc on our marine life and coral reef system, and drive more extreme weather events, it is in all our interests to protect the ocean from the impacts of climate change.

“What we’d like now is for other states and territories to pay attention to what NSW has achieved and follow its lead. 

“This legislation stops any operators wishing to explore for oil and gas in Commonwealth waters off the coast of NSW from building infrastructure that enables fossil fuels to be transported through NSW waters to the shore for processing.

“But, we still need to know if the federal government is going to listen to the people of NSW and stop PEP-11 once and for all.

“We want the Albanese government and Minister for Resources Madeleine King to stop stalling.

“Draw a line in the sand on all new fossil fuel projects in our oceans for good.

“That aside, this is a wonderful moment for our supporters and communities across NSW who have been calling for years to end new offshore oil and gas.”

The Wilderness Society stated the tide was turning for Australia’s fossil fuel industry.

“By passing this legislation, the government has shown it is listening to NSW communities,” campaigns manager Victoria Jack said.

“This decision will provide certainty that the state’s coastal communities and marine wildlife will be protected from the destructive impacts of offshore mining activities.

“It’s not so long ago that a legislated ban on offshore oil and gas mining would have seemed unimaginable.

“The fact that we are here now shows that a better future is possible when governments are accountable to the community instead of the fossil fuel lobby.

“NSW communities have overwhelmingly opposed PEP-11 for years and they deserve a gas-free coastline.

“The passing of this legislation will bring some long-awaited relief.

“On the downside, an alarming number of new oil and gas projects are on the table for Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

“In the face of mounting biodiversity and climate crises, other Australian jurisdictions must follow in the footsteps of NSW.”

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