What is PEP-11 and how Do We Stop It?

The Green Hub

PEP-11 – never heard of it? According to a new survey by not-for-profit Surfrider, over 80% of Aussies haven’t heard of it either. But yet, it’s on route to affect millions.

PEP-11 stands for Petroleum Exploration Permit 11, a licence to drill for oil and gas just off the coast from Manly to Newcastle in New South Wales, a total of 4576 km, the equivalent to 83 Sydney Harbours.

In some parts, PEP-11 comes within 6 kilometers of the shoreline. This image showing what oil rigs could look like sitting offshore; viewable from key metropolitan shorelines!

Stop PEP-11 Surfrider Foundation

If fossil fuel companies are allowed to drill the ocean bed, this may lead to oil spills, gas leaks and could severely damage NSW’s coastline, affecting the livelihoods and lifestyles of over 6 million Australians, and disrupting one of the world’s largest whale migration routes.

MP Zali Steggal is expected to introduce a bill to try and halt all PEP-11 exploration permits into parliament next week (Monday 18 Oct).

Surfrider Foundation Australia and the local community is asking parliament to pass Zali Steggall’s Stopping PEP11 Bill that will be tabled in parliament on 18 October 2021.

Damien Cole, National Campaign Director, Surfrider Foundation Australia, said,

“NSW’s coastline and iconic beaches are being threatened. It puts at risk the most populated and prosperous stretch of coast in Australia. Can you picture an eyesore of an oil & gas rig just off your favourite beach? It would be absolutely heartbreaking, and with our health, lifestyle and local economies all heavily reliant on a healthy ocean, PEP-11 could prove disastrous on all fronts for communities along the NSW coast.”

“Local communities in New South Wales have been impacted by catastrophes over the last couple of years starting with the bush fires up to the current Covid-19 pandemic. As we slowly recover from the ongoing lockdown, an oil spill or gas leak could further decimate local economies,  irreparably damage the local marine and coastal ecosystems, destroy the habitat of countless species including the endangered Manly colony of Little Penguins; and negatively impact the physical and mental health of millions of Australians within these communities.”

A dangerous precedent

Granting the PEP-11 licence for offshore oil and gas drilling will set a dangerous precedent for the east coast of Australia that could see runaway fossil fuel industrialisation just offshore from NSWs iconic beaches. At a time when the world needs to drastically reduce its emissions to meet our 2015 Paris Agreement commitments, PEP-11 will simply lock in decades of disastrous climate pollution. Australia needs climate action, not new oil & gas fields.

What can you do?

To help Surfrider spread the word and get PEP-11 out, sign and share the #STOPPEP11 petition calling on Parliament to pass the Stopping PEP-11 Bill.

You can also write to your local MP expressing your concerns, as well as donate to our #STOPPEP11 campaign, with all proceeds going to our fight to protect the priceless beaches, environment and people of the NSW coastline.

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