The NSW Government plans to introduce a bill to ban sea bed petroleum and mineral exploration and recovery in NSW coastal waters, reinforcing its stance against offshore mining for commercial purposes.
The move, aimed at safeguarding marine environments and preventing environmental risks like oil spills and climate change impacts, positions NSW as a leader in prohibiting offshore petroleum mining.
The bill, amending the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, allows certain environmentally beneficial activities like sand recovery for coastal protection.
The legislation reflects the government’s commitment to environmental protection and community interests.
“This is something our communities have long campaigned for and it is great to see it come to fruition,” Minister for the Central Coast David Harris said.
Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said it was welcome news for the Central Coast but criticised the government for its stalling tactics.
“Finally we’re seeing the Labor Government come to the table and support the Liberal and Nationals in banning offshore drilling and mining in our state; however, they could have done this last year,” he said.
“The Minerals Legislation Amendment (Offshore Drilling and Associated Infrastructure Prohibition) Bill introduced in June 2023 by the Member for Pittwater, Rory Amon, would have done exactly what Labor’s Bill intends to do, but despite this we saw this lazy Labor government delay the Bill as much as they could.”
It is unclear at the time of writing how this legislation will affect the current PEP11 project proposal that is before the NSW and Federal Joint Authority.
That Authority will ultimately decide on the PEP11 project which has been the subject of significant community debate over many years.