The Morrison Government has failed the people of Newcastle by not delivering a decision on the future of PEP-11 oil and gas exploration permit by the project’s scheduled expiry date today.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the Government’s failure demonstrated ‘grave contempt’ for the Newcastle community.  

“The Minister has long known that this permit is due to expire today and he is well aware of the great community concern about its extension,” Ms Claydon said.

“He’s had every opportunity to fulfil his basic responsibilities, but instead he’s decided to prolong the anxiety for coastal communities from Newcastle to Sydney.”

Ms Claydon said it wasn’t good enough for the Minister to blame his NSW State Government counterpart for his failure to do his job.

“The Minister was on radio this morning saying he’s still waiting to hear from the New South Wales State Government about their formal position, even though the Deputy Premier has been utterly unambiguous about his opposition to PEP-11.

“My community shouldn’t have to pay the price because these Liberal Governments can’t seem to communicate with each other.”

Ms Claydon said it’s well past time for the Morrison Government to heed the community’s wishes and reject the extension.

“From day one, the message from the Newcastle community to the Minister has been crystal clear: Oil and gas rigs have no place in our beloved coastal waters.

“The community has rejected the project. The New South Wales Government has rejected the project. Federal Labor has rejected the project. Now it’s time for the Minister to do the right thing and put an end to PEP-11 once and for all!”

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