New Liberals say PEP11 offshore oil and gas project must be cancelled

Vania Holt, New Liberals candidate for the federal electorate of Robertson, has been critical of the Morrison Government’s failure to follow through on their promise to permanently stop the PEP11 offshore oil and gas drilling proposal.

In an interview with CCN this week Holt said: “It’s going to destroy our environment, it’s going to destroy people’s businesses, ways of life…  look at our coast, it’s beautiful.

The New Liberals candidate for Robertson Vania Holt

“People come here for the coast, they come here for the marine environment, they come here to go for a swim, they come here to look out from their beautiful houses to see this beautiful place.

“Any kind of ecological disaster would break everybody’s way of living.

“We’re a coast, we’re a a surfing nation where a surfer goes … and we really need this beautiful beach to survive and once it’s gone, you can’t bring it back.,” she said.

Holt said she was concerned that the Minister responsible for making the decision to extend PEP11, Keith Pitt, had been elevated to Prime Minister Morrison’s Cabinet which meant he probably had “a little more power” than the Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks.

“We can’t trust the Liberal Government to say no to these people, even if they’re going to elevate the National Party of Queensland to make a decision on our Coast,” she said of Wicks’ and Morrison’s promises that PEP11 would not continue.

Holt said, if elected to represent Robertson at the next federal election, due before May 2022, she was likely to work with other independents to ensure the permit did not proceed.

“Perhaps Zali Steggall’s bill will actually be tabled and initiated, so it will stop the PEP11 going ahead but I can vote against this – I can vote with Labor; I can vote with the independents.

“Wicks can’t – she votes with the government every single time.

“I am just not sure that with Keith Pitt now being in the cabinet that Morrison is able to stop this.”

Vania Holt

“The proponent Asset Energy and their partners have said to us on camera that they don’t care what the Prime Minister says.

“They are starting to go ahead, employing and issuing contracts already – is that an indication that something is going on here that we, the public don’t know about?

“It seems a bit strange that a company would be tendering for works yet Scott Morrison and the Liberal National Party has said, ‘Oh no, no, we’re not going to go ahead with this’.

“Why would a company be spending all this money on starting to tender for businesses etc to start this process when the government has said they’re not going to go ahead?

“Wouldn’t the shareholders be very upset with the company saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to waste all this money on something that’s not going to go ahead’?

“I’m a bit concerned that perhaps it is going to go ahead.

She said the recent gas leak in California showed why PEP11 could not go ahead.

“They can’t clean it up; I’ve been looking at how you can clean up gas and oil spills, and none of the technology is there to eradicate.

“Once it’s there, it’s there – you’re killing animals, you’re killing fish, you’re killing birds, you’re killing everybody, killing people’s ways of life and to be cynical, you’re also killing people’s house values if this [the coastline] is covered in oil and we can’t use it for months and months and months, what will people do?

“It’s just not a risk that anyone should be taking, not on the east coast of Australia – we all live here, this is where the majority of Australians live.”

Interview transcript
Vania Holt, Oct 26

4 Comments on "New Liberals say PEP11 offshore oil and gas project must be cancelled"

  1. Sandra Watkins | October 29, 2021 at 1:49 pm |

    The only thing killed needs to be the politics and scare tactics around this. What happened to legally investing in this country’s future energy needs?

  2. Michael Murphy | October 30, 2021 at 12:30 am |

    This is just so hypocritical isn’t these statements, all coming from one of the biggest coal exporting terminals in the world, when you drive past the Newcastle harbour every day do you have your horse blinkers on, I really think a lot of these activist types against Pep11 need to go to Specsavers

  3. At last, someone that stands up to the Federal government’s deliberate disinformation campaign. Ms Wick’s tricky tactics on this issue seek to confuse voters. It is remarkable that she thinks we’re so dumb that we don’t see through her doublespeak.
    These New Liberals seem to be what the current Liberal Party used to be, honest. Wicks is not Liberal she’s a tricky marketing person.
    Remarkable that too Michael and Sandra seem to think that risking the greatest economic and community asset in the region is fine. Look what happened in the California gas leak recently and the awful consequences for that community.

  4. Dear Jim – spot on! Thank you for raising this. Would love to chat with you in person if you have time. Please email me on

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