Does anyone know where the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia is? He's completely missing in action when it comes to Advent Energy's PEP 11 licence. PEP 11 allows oil and gas exploration drilling off the New South Wales coast from Newcastle to Sydney. Advent Energy has requested a two-year extension of their licence, which will put at risks thousands of local jobs in tourism, hospitality, and recreational and commercial fishing. Their current licence expired on 12 February. At that time the minister for resources, who will make the final decision, said that he would make the decision soon. The minister obviously has a very different understanding of the world 'soon' than most of us, because, almost four months on, we are still waiting for a decision. I have spoken in parliament before about the overwhelming opposition to PEP 11 in my electorate. The community is against it. Labor is against it. Even the New South Wales government is against it. Yet we don't know where the minister stands.
It's vital now that this project be killed by the minister, as Advent are getting ready to drill. They are tendering right know for the drilling equipment to start drilling off the coast of places like Redhead Batch. The ball is firmly in the government's court. There's absolutely nothing stopping them from ending this uncertainty, listening to the community's wishes, saving jobs, saving the environment, and saying no to PEP-11 once and for all. What is the minister waiting for?