It has now been more than two months since Advent Energy’s Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 (PEP 11) was due to expire.
The proposed extension of the licence would allow oil and gas exploration drilling off the NSW coast from Port Stephens, Newcastle, the Central Coast, and Sydney for a further two years.
This would put at risk thousands of local jobs in tourism, hospitality, recreational and commercial fishing.
The current licence was due to expire on 12 February.
At that time, the Federal Minister for Resources Keith Pitt - who has the final say on whether the permit will be extended – said that he’d “prefer the decision was made soon”.
Well how soon is “soon”, Mr Pitt?
The licence is currently in a rollover period meaning exploration can continue while the Minister makes his decision.
It feels like every man and their dog has said no to the extension of PEP 11.
Labor is against it.
The community is against it.
The NSW Government is against it.
Several Federal Liberal MPs are against it.
Even the Prime Minister confirmed he is against it during a recent visit to the Hunter region.
The ball is firmly in Keith Pitt’s court and there’s absolutely nothing stopping him from ending this uncertainty, listening to the community’s wishes, and saying no to PEP 11 once and for all.
What is he waiting for?