Wicks votes against debating bill to kill off PEP11

Zali Steggall MP Independent Warringah

At 11am in the Federal House of Representatives yesterday, (Thursday, October 20), the Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, rose to speak against a motion that would have paved the way for a Private Members’ Bill to permanently kill off the PEP11 offshore drilling permit.

Strongly opposed by the Central Coast community, Petroleum exploration permit 11, known as PEP11, is a work permit granted under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.

PEP11 covers 4,575 square kilometres of ocean from Newcastle through the Central Coast to Manly.

Wicks and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have said they will not allow PEP11 to be extended under a Morrison Government but, rather than voting in line with the wishes of her community, Wicks voted with the government to stop the Bill from being considered.

Zali Steggall, Independent Member for Warringah, moved to suspend standing orders so her Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Stopping PEP11) Bill 2021 could be given priority for debate.

“This motion must be debated today because it deals with vital issues: climate change; environmental destruction; and the fate of the economy for a significant portion of the east coast of Australia,” Steggall told the House.

“PEP11 comes as close as five kilometres to the shore in places.

“Human line of sight on the horizon is over five kilometres, so gas rigs may well be seen from our headlands and beaches.

“As recently as October 20, comments in the media by David Breeze, the Executive Director of Advent Energy, indicated that Advent has every intention to proceed with the project.

“PEP11 is still on foot, and Minister Pitt, a Queensland Liberal-National MP, is still giving enough assurance to Advent Energy that they are seeking tenders for equipment to drill the works on PEP11.”

Steggall said over 60,000 people had lent their names to a petition calling for PEP11 to be stopped.

“Our ecotourism, our tourism, our hospitality all need confidence and certainty, and having this risk hanging over them is impacting their confidence in the rebuild.”

Steggall said the Member for Robertson had told the community she opposed the project.

“Yet here we are: we are still in the hands of Minister Pitt.”

“I firstly want to say very loudly that I remain firmly opposed to PEP11,” Wicks said when she rose to oppose Steggall’s motion.

“The Member for Warringah’s motion, supported by members of the opposition, this morning to suspend standing orders is not the best way to achieve this outcome that they seek.

“It only adds to the cacophony of confusion and misinformation that has been surrounding this issue.”

Wicks said Steggall was politicising a community issue.

She acknowledged the importance of local beaches and oceans to the Coast’s way of life and repeated Morrison’s “rock-solid guarantee” that his government would not allow the PEP11 permit to be extended.

“That is why the motion before the House this morning really achieves nothing for communities up and down the NSW coast,” Wicks said.

“The best way to achieve the outcome that all of you and indeed many of us in this chamber seek is through the proper processes of government, not political stunts,” she said.

Save Our Coast committee member, Tim Heffernan, said the vote to suspend standing orders and debate the Steggall Bill was defeated 52 to 48.

“If Wicks, Sharma and Falinski had voted differently the debate would have ensued,” Heffernan said.

“The community has made it clear that PEP11 has no place off our coast and today our elected representatives let us down by supporting fossil fuel projects over our coastline.

“Ten days away from a global climate summit and the Liberal Government not only has no plan for net-zero, but they perverted democracy by disallowing a debate on a new Bill.”

Federal Member for Dobell, Emma McBride, spoke in favour of Steggall’s motion and Member for Shortland, Pat Conroy, seconded the motion for the Member for Warringah.

In an interview with CCN following the debate, Steggall said: “We’ve had a lot of platitudes from especially Coalition and along the coast saying that this project won’t go ahead but the reality is that the license holder is going ahead.

“The Bill seeks to basically decline the application for the license and then, which is really important, it makes it that there can be no further license approved in this area,” she said.

The full interview with Zali Steggall and transcript can be found on the news section of our coastcommunitynews.com.au website.

Jackie Pearson

15 Comments on "Wicks votes against debating bill to kill off PEP11"

  1. Thank you Lucy Wicks – you have betrayed the wishes of the community you are supposed to represent. Don’t you get it? We don’t want environmental damage done to our beautiful coastline. We don’t want any more fossil fuels extracted. We want action on climate change from your disgraceful Federal Liberal sham of a government. We want a decent world for our children and grandchildren to inherit. Your actions are disgraceful. You are just “towing the Party line” without any care for your constituents. You are a sham of a politician. Many, many of us will remember your actions at the next Federal election. Hopefully, you will not be our “representative” for too much longer. Shame on you! No excuses – never, ever!

    • Please don’t use the word “we” as you are not representing the people of the Central Coast. You obviously have political views and as in any democratic society it is your right to express those views, however you do not have the right to make it seem like everyone on the Central Coast agrees with you.

      • Lucy Wicks is a government stooge, she is often given a Dorothy Dixer in parliament by one of the Ministers and always looks very pleased with herself after asking the question that they have the rehearsed answer for. They should be banned, just time wasters. I would never vote for this government after the Tax Office debacle when Wicks was telling us how many jobs there would be. There would have been the same amount of jobs if the tax office was built the other end of town nearer the station. We’ve lost the school site land forever.

  2. Lucy,you should be ashamed of yourself. Despite my being a long time Liberal supporter you certainly will not be getting my vote at the next election .

  3. Oh Bill, I suggest that “we” is very representative, as over 60,000 people signed a petition calling for PEP11 to be stopped, and those people care very much, just as I do. It doesn’t matter what political persuasion you are. It is up to your elected representative to LISTEN to their constituents, and Ms Wicks appears to be a little hard of hearing where this matter is concerned. I would hope that you (just as I and “we” do) care very much about our beautiful Central Coast, and the legacy we are leaving for our future generations to enjoy.

    • “over 60,000”? The Central Coast has over 300,000 residents so not even half. And I suggest a lot of the signatories were not Central Coast residents. We have to find local sources of the energy we currently import at huge cost. When the green lobby groups come up with something other than folly that hides a vested interest then some of us might take it seriously. In the immediate term save the planet by not driving your car and cease using electricity.

      • Well said, Bill. Environmental doomsdayism is the mainstay of the dim-witted True Believer. This project will not doom our coast and nor will it doom our planet. To argue either case is to give up any sense of proportionality.

      • Andrew Nadolny | October 23, 2021 at 2:18 am |

        Planet Earth is not doomed, provided the recalcitrant dinosaurs, including the Murdoch press, are simply ignored and eventually fade away. We have the technology, but need the serious political will. If the billions of tax- payer dollars that State and Federal gov currently spend p.a. subsidising fossil fuels, was put into research on renewable energy storage, then we would already be well on the way to clean and green.
        Ps to Bill about the petition: in business, if 20 % of customers are complaining loudly, such as writing letters and signing petitions, that does not mean 80% are happy. It means a problem.

  4. Please, not everyone on the Central Coast is opposed to drilling PEP11.

    I support it, you don’t represent me.

    PEP11 was drilled in 2010 with no issues. The amount of incorrect information via media and socials is ridiculous.

  5. Amanda Palmer | October 22, 2021 at 1:23 pm |

    I didn’t know this was happening until today. I’m pretty sure 300,000 residents need to know what is going on. Would you send each of them an email Lucy, to let them know about PEP11 and your representation and why 60,000 residents have opposed? So that the people of the region know that this is an issue that will effect every one of them and their future and the future of their children for generations? Therefore they can make an educated choice before signing a petition?

  6. Poor ol Bill, happy to live in the 19th century…problem is he is trying to drag everyone back there
    with him.
    Three words ‘mate’…Deer Water Horizon ! Watch that doco, then get back to me if you think thats what our coastline needs.

  7. Your a sad old dinosaur Bill. And poor old planet Earth is doomed for sure.

  8. Well Wicks has shown her colours towing the outdated liberal line with no thought for the people she says she represents. She trys to hide behind Scomos doublespeak it amazes me they haven’t come up with a big distinction to take peoples attention away from the disorganised and deceitful government they are running. They have hoodwinked the public into thinking they are monetary managers but the list of failures grows longer every day. From submarines $90+ billion carpark rorts $660 million failed military purchases etc etc dodgy politicians excepting blind trust money. Politicians favouring donors with lucrative contracts and laughing it off. As Gough said “Its time for change” We need a Federal ICAC to keep the fingers out of the till and an ethics committee to back it up.

  9. There are some politicians that represent the concerns of the people of the electorate and there are others that are political stooges. Which one are you. Remember an election is just around the next gas rig.

  10. I expect this from Lucy Wicks. She just does the bidding of the party & nothing for her constituents.A complete failure as a representative & community leader. Pathetic.

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