Surfrider's Damien Cole on Yesterday's PEP11 Vote
Hi there ocean lovers!
We thought we’d reach out to give you an update on what happened in parliament yesterday.
Surfrider Foundation Australia is extremely disappointed with yesterday’s result in Federal Parliament, with the Government blocking a debate on the Stopping PEP11 Bill.
If you’re interested, we’ve given you a little snapshot for you to better understand how it all went down.
Zali Steggall put up a motion to “suspended standing orders” (which essentially means the usual business is set aside to give this issue priority) to bring on debate of the Stopping PEP11 Bill. A motion to suspend standing orders must be voted on and passed by an absolute majority (more than half of the total MP’s, which is usually 76 out of 151) before the Bill can be debated. Due to COVID-19 not all MP’s were present, however the absolute majority of 76 was still needed to bring on a debate. Unfortunately the vote came in at 48-52 after a fierce debate, which got quite heated and passionate and lasted for 50 minutes.
If you’d like to see how it went down, you can watch it here. The PEP11 issue starts at 10.33am on the video.
This was the chance for the Liberal-National Government to Stop PEP11 once and for all, however they all voted against even debating it. This meant that even with the support of other crossbenchers and the Australian Labor Party, Zali Steggall‘s Bill did not amass enough support for it to proceed to a debate.
Disappointingly, Liberal MP’s Jason Falinski, Dave Sharma, Trent Zimmerman and Lucy Wicks, who have all publicly opposed PEP11, voted with their party to keep PEP11 alive and put the power back into the hands of Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt.
While this is not the outcome we were hoping for, the Stopping PEP11 Bill is still alive which is good news.
So what can you do now?
1. There is every chance that Zali will try a similar thing again, so the best thing you can do is to share and sign our petition on your social media channels, which you can find here, so that when the time comes we’ve got an even louder, united voice!
2. Contact your local MP, particularly if you’re in one of the electorates who’s MP voted against debating the Bill and let them know you’re not happy. Please remember to be courteous and polite.
On our end here at Surfrider Foundation, we will continue working tirelessly to protect our incredible NSW coastline from this potentially catastrophic project.
We and the ocean thank you for your ongoing support.
National Campaign Director