22 Jun 2023

Independent Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has today said he will be supporting proposed legislation to prevent offshore coal, gas, mineral and petroleum mining and exploration off the South Coast.

Mr Ward said that the Minerals Legislation Amendment (Offshore Drilling and Associated Infrastructure Prohibition) Bill 2023 would protect the coastline by preventing future offshore mining and exploration.

“We have a moral obligation to protect our local environment, marine life and coastline for future generations, which is why I’m supporting this Bill,” Mr Ward said.

“We don’t inherit this planet from our parents. We borrow it from the next generation. I will be voting for this bill knowing that I made a different in fighting for a cleaner and greener environment.

“Our pristine coastline should be kept that way. It’s not up for grabs by major mining companies only interested in profit.

“I’m not against mining, but I believe we need to get the balance right by ensuring we have the right measures in place to protect our environment and our tourism industry.

“This Bill does exactly that as it allows for explorations that demonstrate a clear environmental benefit, like addressing beach erosion, to still be considered.

“I encourage the Member for Shellharbour and Member for South Coast who’s electorates will benefit from this Bill to put politics aside and support the legislation and I call on both of them to make clear where they stand on this important debate before the House today,” Mr Ward said.