October 18 - 24, 2020: Issue 470


Jason 'for the beaches' Falinski Moves to End Uncertainty of oil or gas rigs off our beaches

Jason Falinski, MP for Mackellar, at West Head on Friday, October 16th, 2020
When Pittwater Online spoke to MP for Mackellar for Oceans Day 2020 (June 8th), which had a theme of 'Our Oceans, Our Future', Mr. Falinski stated, 

“It is our responsibility here on the Northern Beaches to protect our beautiful beaches and waterways. From Palm Beach down to Manly the Pacific Ocean provides us with a big part of our lifestyle.” 

“I want to also use this day to reaffirm my commitment in opposing any drilling off the coast of the Northern Beaches.”

Since then Mr. Falinski has been actively speaking with residents, scholars and shore based community groups and organisations right along the peninsula with the result being that the Sydney coastline is going to the top of the agenda for Parliament’s next sitting. Two Sydney Members of the Federal Parliament will move to oppose drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Sydney. 

It is the most definitive action taken on the issue to date. 

The motion is being moved by Member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski MP and seconded by Member for Wentworth, Dave Sharma MP. 

The motion has cemented Mr Falinski’s long-term opposition to the Petroleum Exploration Permit – 11 (PEP-11). 

“Since being elected in 2016, I have fought against this licence of behalf of my community.” Mr Falinski told Pittwater Online this week.

“I grew up here, the local environment is very important to me and I will keep fighting to protect it.” 

The PEP-11 licence has been held by a number of energy companies since it was granted a number of years ago. Various exploration actions have been undertaken, the last one about three years ago. Mr Falinski has said “Even the most generous reading of the actions of the current holders of the PEP-11 Licence since then would lead a reasonable person to conclude that there is nothing there.”

“The results of that testing were clearly disappointing.” 

“It is no longer fair for this licence to be continuously renewed, creating uncertainty for the community.” 

The PEP-11 Licence now hangs over the heads of my community like Damocles Sword.”

Mr Falinski has written to the Minister for Resources, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, urging him to deny any further extensions to the PEP 11 licence. 

Mr Sharma, who seconded the motion, highlighted the need to ensure the Sydney coastline is maintained for future generations.

“Sydney has one of the world’s most beautiful natural coastlines. We are both beneficiaries and trustees of this magnificent natural asset — and must do all we can to protect it for future generations.” Mr Sharma said. 

“PEP-11 should not be renewed. Oil and gas exploration should not be taking place adjacent to one of the most densely populated coastlines in the world”.

The motion will be in the House of Representatives at 10:30am on Monday and Mr. Falinski will speak first.

The Motion:


MEMBER FOR MACKELLAR: I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that this House:

(1) Recognises the Coalition Government’s commitment to protecting Australia’s marine environment including the Great Barrier Reef through:

(a) The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan;

(b) The $1.2 billion investment to ensure the health of the Reef; and

(c) The $100 million Environment Restoration Fund which supports cleaner oceans and waterways.

(2) Opposes oil or gas drilling off the coast of Sydney, including:

(a) Recognises that through Advent Energy’s own admission on 29 December 2010, the exploratory well had failed to find gas; and

(b) Not renewing the Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 (PEP-11) licence;

(3) Notes the importance of Sydney’s coastline and waterways to the ecosystem as well as tourism and investment.

You can watch and hear via this link: https://www.aph.gov.au/news_and_events/watch_parliament