Shortland MP Pat Conroy says Advent Energy's plans to drill for gas off the coast of Newcastle and Central Coast are "deeply distressing".
The plans depend on the federal government extending Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 for two years.
The Newcastle Heraldreported on Wednesday that the company plans to drill "22 kilometres off Munmorah", with a drilling target area of about 6000 acres.
Mr Conroy took aim at Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt saying "any rig is unlikely to be visible from the coast".
"Mr Pitt's comments don't address the direct and indirect impact this project would have on thousands of local fishing, tourism and hospitality jobs. They don't address the devastating environmental impacts this will have if there's an accident," Mr Conroy said.
"And they don't address the fact that there are already projects under development that will produce gas more cheaply and in less sensitive environments, without endangering existing industries."
Mr Conroy said PEP 11 makes "no sense from an economic, environmental or energy perspective".
"The community's view on this issue is crystal clear: they don't want it. I have never seen such strong opposition to a project in my years in Parliament."
He said Mr Pitt and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro would decide "on the future of PEP 11".
"Mr Barilaro as well as several federal Liberal Party MPs have all confirmed their opposition to this project. Mr Pitt needs to listen to the community and say no to PEP 11."
Mr Barilaro said in a statement on Wednesday that he did not believe PEP11 should be renewed.
"Mr Pitt formally wrote to me last week seeking my recommendation, and I want to acknowledge the representations made to me by my parliamentary colleagues, including the (northern beaches-based) Members for Pittwater, Terrigal and Manly," Mr Barilaro said.
"I have listened to their views, and those of the people they represent - it confirms my own position to recommend that PEP11 is not renewed."
Advent Energy managing director David Breeze said on Tuesday that gas was a "critical component" of the federal government's plan for an economic recovery from the pandemic.
Mr Breeze said the well to be drilled would be deepened to "determine the suitability of the rock for carbon capture and storage".
"Rather than just drilling to the target depth of 2200 metres, you would drill down to 3000 or 4000 metres because that's where the potential carbon storage areas are."
Advent Energy has applied to extend the permit for a further "two years".
"It enables us to then proceed to the drilling program. We've not submitted the drilling design program to the government because you can't do that until you've got the extension on the permit," Mr Breeze said.
A community campaign is fighting to stop gas rigs being built off the coast by urging the federal government not to renew Petroleum Exploration Permit 11, which covers 4500 square kilometres of ocean from Port Stephens to Central Coast.
Mr Pitt has the final say on the permit.
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