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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shows no interest in future of NSW PEP-11 gas project

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has refused to be drawn on the future of gas exploration licenses off the coast of New South Wales.

On Friday, the Commonwealth and affiliated companies agreed to terminate legal action against a project known as PEP-11 (Petroleum Exploration Permit 11), which stretches about 4,500 square kilometers offshore from North Head in the south to Newcastle in the north. bottom.

If the consent order is approved by a federal court, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s move to block the 2021 license extension will no longer apply.

That decision will be left to a joint authority made up of the Government of Albania and the Government of NSW.

The prime minister said he would not follow in his predecessor’s footsteps as he campaigned with Labor leader Chris Mins in Eastwood, northwest of Sydney, on Saturday.

“It’s important that me and the Minister of Resources do not comment. We have processes in place. That’s how we got into this situation in the first place,” he said.

“What my government does is always act according to the necessary procedures … we need transparency in the process.”

The former prime minister has blocked the extension of gas licenses for 2021.(AAP: Lucas Koch)

Legal action by Asset Energy and Bounty Oil & Gas follows Morrison’s rejection of PEP-11 filings by naming himself in a number of portfolios, including Treasury Secretary and then-Resources Minister Keith Pitt. vetoed Mr. Pitt’s request for an extension after it was revealed. that.

Albanese was outspoken against the project, tweeting “We need to save the coast” in March 2021, and in November of the same year, on the Central Coast of New South Wales. This is a remark I made at a press conference.

“Absolutely, completely stop the progress of PEP-11. Exclamation point. No doubt. No ambiguity. rice field.

But when sternly questioned about his stance today, he said: “I am the Prime Minister of Australia and I have a special responsibility.”

Earlier, State Treasury Secretary Matt Keane demanded that the opposition leader present his position.

“The federal Labor government supports it. The question for Chris Minnes is whether he supports Anthony Albanese by opening up PEP-11, or the community that strongly opposes it. That’s the thing,” he said.

“The New South Wales Liberal National Government will oppose PEP-11 in 2022 and will continue to strongly oppose it.”

Man standing outdoors and talking to the media
The Sydney member is one of six independents supporting legislation to end PEP-11.(ABC News)

Mr Mins reiterated Labor’s position, saying it had not changed in over a decade.

“We stand with our colleagues in the Commonwealth Labor Party against this opposition … The NSW Labor Party has repeatedly voted against the process and related motions in the New South Wales Parliament,” he said. .

“We need to ensure that the mistakes of last year are not repeated, and if they happen at the federal level and return to court, even those who are vehemently opposed to the progress of this proposal will be devastated. prize.”

Members of Sydney Alex Greenwich have pledged to take strong action against PEP-11 by supporting legislation that would render the project infeasible, as a group of six independents contest next month’s election. I was alone.

“It’s shocking that the Albanian government will reverse the only environmental protection measures taken by the previous Morrison government,” Greenwich said.

“We need more than talks from state governments, we need action.

“So we are here today to show our support for the legislation drafted by the Independent Justin Field.

A federal court is scheduled to issue its decision on February 8.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-04/anthony-albanese-no-comment-future-pep-11-nsw-project/101931216 Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shows no interest in future of NSW PEP-11 gas project

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