Offshore bans welcomed – now time to ban gas on the Liverpool Plains

Nature Conservation Council

15th March 2024

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today welcomed the passing of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Seabed Mining and Exploration) Bill, making NSW the first state to ban offshore fossil fuel extraction.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Seabed Mining and Exploration) Bill 2024 amends the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to prohibit:

  1. Seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and recovery in NSW coastal waters; and

  2. Other development within the state for the purposes of seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and recovery anywhere.

“This is great news for marine ecosystems and the people of NSW. It shows that it’s entirely possible for the government to protect nature, water and the community from the devastating impacts of the fossil fuel industry” Jacqui Mumford, NCC CEO said today.

“We commend all members of parliament for coming together to secure such substantial changes to environmental protections and take action on climate, and Minister Sharpe for delivering this important piece of legislation.”

“Now we’re calling on the NSW Government to protect Country across NSW by stopping the destruction wrought by new fossil fuel projects such as the gas pipeline through Newcastle, fracking in the Pillga/Billga and Liverpool Plains, and mining under the Gardens of Stone.”

Statements attributable to NCC Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford:

“With this bill, Minister Sharpe and the Minns Government have recognised that people care deeply for our coastlines and oceans and want to see an end to the severe impacts offshore exploration and drilling have on marine ecosystems and coastal areas.

“Oceans are as much part of the web of life as the rest of our state’s ecosystems. The positive impact this ban will have on our oceans and climate should be extended to banning a gas pipeline and CSG exploration licences through the Liverpool Plains.

“The NSW coal industry remains a major threat to marine life while whales and dolphins continue to be struck by container shipping.”

Statement ends

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