March 15, 2021

I want to thank the hundreds of my constituents who have signed my petition opposing the renewal of petroleum exploration permit 11. In all my time in politics, I have never witnessed such a powerful community campaign and such overwhelming support against a proposal. In particular, I thank the people of White Bridge, Dudley, Redhead, Blacksmith, Swansea, Caves Beach and Catherine Hill Bay, who have contacted me in very significant numbers to register their opposition to this project.

The people I represent are truly fortunate to be surrounded by water—Lake Macquarie, the Pacific Ocean, Lake Munmorah and Budgewoi Lake. Any development that in any way could damage these special waters is just not on. Locals don't just care about our magic natural environment though; they know this project makes no this makes no sense from an economic perspective either. This is a project that makes sense from an environmental or economic point of view. It will endanger thousands of local jobs that depend upon tourism, hospitality and accommodation.

PEP 11 is a project with no friends. The Leader of the Opposition has made it clear that Labor opposes it and would revoke it in government. And even the Prime Minister has belatedly come on board. It is time for Minister Pitt to bury it. If he doesn't, this is a case of the Prime Minister saying one thing in the Hunter and doing another thing in Canberra.