After being repeatedly told last year that PEP-11 was dead in the water, we find that it is once again alive and kicking. PEP-11, or petroleum exploration permit 11, allows for ocean floor drilling and seismic blasting in a massive area extending from Manly to Newcastle. Following the court settlement last week, PEP-11 head David Breeze made it clear that he would like the licence to be resurrected and suggested that it could help with the gas crisis.
Let's be clear about a few things. Firstly, there is no gas crisis in this country. It's just that multinational companies ship most of it—around 80 per cent—overseas, leaving Australians to pay exorbitant prices. Secondly, the International Energy Agency has warned us in no uncertain terms that there must be no new oil and gas mines opened if the world is to keep the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. If the Albanese government is serious about meeting our Paris Agreement obligations, it should not allow any further oil or gas exploration in Australia, on land or sea.
Thirdly, I know that my community of Mackellar will never accept drilling for oil or gas off our coastline. We should instead focus investment on clean, cheap and reliable renewable energy. This is the future.