Offshore exploration for minerals, petroleum or coal off the table in NSW

Anyone seeking to undertake offshore exploration or mining off the NSW coast ‘need not bother’ under a new policy announced by the NSW Government.

The government have said today they will not support commercial applications for offshore mineral, coal or petroleum exploration or mining either in or adjacent to NSW coastal waters.

It effectively means the controversial PEP 11 project off Newcastle’s coast definitely won’t go ahead.

Deputy Premier and the Minister responsible for Resources Paul Toole said they will only support exploration licences that have a clear public benefit.

“This policy recognises that our coastal ecosystems are complex and sensitive and formalises our long-held view that the NSW Government will not support offshore exploration or mining for commercial purposes.”

“While our coastline will be off-limits for commercial operators, exploration and the potential mining of sand will remain an option to address coastal erosion and restore sand to beaches, such as the work already being carried out at Newcastle’s Stockton Beach.”

The NSW Government applied for an exploration licence two years ago to explore a sand resource to remediate Stockton Beach which continues to suffer severe erosion.

“We’ve provided certainty to the NSW onshore coal sector, which remains a key employer and on track to deliver record royalties, and we’ve unveiled a strategy to grow the local critical minerals and advanced manufacturing sectors,” Paul Toole said.

“We also have a very clear vision for onshore gas exploration and production, providing certainty for regional communities and industry alike.”

“This is another way we are shaping a stronger and more sustainable sector and providing greater confidence for investors and clarity to both industry and regional NSW communities.”

Image credit: Paul Toole Facebook page