News - 15 March 2024

NSW becomes Australia’s first state to ban oil and gas in its coastal waters

Over 700 people hold hands in Newcastle against offshore gas in 2018.

The NSW government legislated a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration and mining, making it the first Australian state to ban oil and gas in its coastal waters.

The legislation shows that the tide is turning for Australia’s fossil fuel industry, according to the Wilderness Society.

Unfortunately, an alarming number of new oil and gas projects are on the table for Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In the face of mounting biodiversity and climate crises, other Australian jurisdictions must follow in the footsteps of NSW.

The Wilderness Society has worked alongside communities to challenge the proposed PEP-11 project for many years, due to the devastating impact the project would have for people, nature and climate if it were to go ahead. By passing this legislation, the government has shown they are listening to NSW communities. This decision will provide certainty that the state’s coastal communities and marine wildlife will be protected from the destructive impacts of offshore mining activities.

Victoria Jack, Campaigns Manager for Wilderness Society NSW, said, “It’s not so long ago that a legislated ban on offshore oil and gas mining would have seemed unimaginable. The fact that we are here now shows that a better future is possible when governments are accountable to the community instead of the fossil fuel lobby.

“NSW communities have overwhelmingly opposed PEP-11 for years and they deserve a gas-free coastline. The passing of this legislation will bring some long-awaited relief.”