Media Releases - 21 November 2023

Nature and communities deserve gas-free coastline in NSW despite recommendation against fossil fuel prohibition Bill

A NSW parliamentary committee has today released its report on their inquiry into the Offshore Drilling and Associated Infrastructure Prohibition Bill 2023 which, if passed, would make NSW the first state to legislate a ban on offshore oil and gas mining. However, the committee has recommended that the Bill should not be passed.

Conservation organisation the Wilderness Society says that many of the risks identified in the report were either hypotheticals that were unlikely to occur, or could be remedied with minor amendments (and without undermining the intent of the Bill).

The Wilderness Society is urging the government to forge a way forward and secure a gas-free coast line for NSW. Not only are these projects extremely detrimental for nature and the climate, they are severely out of step with the overwhelming opposition, as acknowledged in the committee’s report, to new oil and gas projects, such as the controversial PEP-11 permit that has been fought by tens of thousands of people in coastal communities from Newcastle to the Northern Beaches.

Victoria Jack, Campaigns Manager for Wilderness Society NSW, said, “We are disappointed by the findings of the committee. Coastal communities have been campaigning together for years to protect the NSW coastline from the PEP-11 project, which would have significant impacts on our climate and marine life if it proceeds, and these communities deserve a gas-free coastline.

“The International Energy Agency says there can be no new oil and gas projects if the world is to reach net zero by 2050 and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The NSW government should listen to the community, and forge a pathway forward to bring about the end of offshore fossil fuel exploration and mining."