MEDIA RELEASE - Finally a response on PEP-11, but not the right one
16 September 2021
The Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, has yet again missed an opportunity to put a stop to PEP 11.
Having failed to respond to my previous letters, I wrote to Minister Pitt again in August requesting that he scrap the threat of gas and oil rigs off our coastline once and for all.
The lack of answers from the Minister reeks of desperation to ensure that his Liberal Party colleagues are re-elected at the next election.
Minister Pitt says the decision to extend the PEP 11 project is a matter for the Joint Authority, consisting of the federal Minister for Resources and the Hon John Barilaro, NSW Deputy Premier.
But we know that on 17 February, 2021, Mr Barilaro recommended PEP 11 NOT be renewed in a letter to Minister Keith Pitt.
Given Minister Pitt has been aware of Mr Barilaro’s advice for eight months, why is it taking the Minister so long to make a decision?
Is Minister Pitt simply stalling on this issue until after the federal election so as not to damage the chances of his fellow Liberal Party colleagues, whose own electorates are strongly opposed to PEP 11?
The Minister knows that if he accepts the extension of the application, his party colleagues will have to explain to their own electorates why they have backflipped on PEP 11.
This is a project without friends. Communities and MPs across the political spectrum, including the Prime Minister have spoken out against the PEP 11 project, so why doesn’t Minister Pitt, as the final decision-maker, reject the permit once and for all?
Scott Morrison is more than happy to rollout the red carpet in Newcastle and express his opposition to the exploration of gas and oil of our coastline, but he can’t get one of his own Ministers to do his job and deliver a long-overdue decision.
As usual, Mr Morrison is all about the photo op and no follow up. He’s all slogans, no solutions.
If the Morrison Government truly cared and respected the concerns of our coastal communities and his own MPs, it would provide leadership on this issue – not grandstand and make empty promises.