Thursday, 31 October 2013

Metgasco vainly hopes Northern Rivers opposition to its proposed coal seam gas fields has "bottomed out"

Metgasco hopes that the opposition to the industry has bottomed out and that it will see steady improvement in community and NSW Government support, sufficient for it to restart CSG activities as well, according to its 28 October 2013 Quarterly Activities Report: Quarter Ended 30 September 2013*.

A quick Google search appears to squash this hope.

The Northern Star 22 October 2013:
ALMOST two-thirds of Richmond Valley residents are against CSG development, an independent Southern Cross University survey has revealed.
The exit poll survey was held - conducted on Federal election day, September 7 this year and - asked: "Do you support coal seam gas exploration and production in the Richmond Valley Council area?"
Of the 605 residents surveyed, 65% were opposed to coal seam gas, while 18% were in support and 17% undecided....
The referendum-style question asked by SCU researchers was identical to the question used in the Lismore CSG poll at the Lismore council elections last year, where 87% of people said they opposed coal seam gas....

CSG Free Northern Rivers Media Release 23 October 2013:
Northern Rivers community representatives say “No Deal” to Federal Energy Minister and Metgasco.
Tourism operator and Marine Biologist Wendy Craig Duncan and Ian Gaillard , regional coordinator of Lock the Gate Community put the case to keep the Northern Rivers free of industrial gasfields at a ‘stakeholders’ meeting held in the office of the Federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane today.
The meeting called at short notice in Canberra included local member Kevin Hogan and local farming, gas industry and state government  representatives.
The Minister and Metgasco were provided with latest survey results showing that the vast majority of local residents, including those in the Richmond Valley LGA are opposed to gasfield development.
“This has now become a test of democracy, we have an overwhelming majority across the Northern Rivers opposed to gasfield development, including the Federal MPs for Richmond and Page who come from different sides of politics. It's time for state and federal governments to listen to the community rather than to the industry lobbyists and stop this unwanted industrial invasion”, Mr Gaillard said.
Mr Gaillard added “Given the lack of support for the Industry, the way forward in the Northern Rivers would be to formulate an exit plan for Metgasco so it can cut its losses.”
“Northern Rivers residents do not want Invasive Gas fields and there are so many serious questions unanswered about the safety and impact of this industry.” said Ian Gaillard.
Wendy Craig Duncan told the meeting:
“The NSW government exclusion zones are an admission that CSG mining has negative impacts. All residential dwellings ,agricultural land and water catchments must be included in these zones ,with no exceptions or compromises. “
Mrs Craig Duncan said that to exclude any resident is akin to creating a sub-class within our society, where certain people’s health and livelihoods are seen as expendable or collateral damage. This is just not acceptable.
Contact. Ian Gaillard.           0431 108784
Wendy Craig Duncan.      0423369373

The Daily Examiner 23 October 2013:

Message is clear
I SEE that The Daily Examiner's letters to the editor section is still making heavy going out of one particular coal seam gas exploration/mining survey, whose respondents predominantly did not favour the industry in question.
However, there has been more than one Australian survey on the subject and these surveys, which have been conducted by Essential Research, Galaxy, Newspoll, Nielsen, MyOpinions Research and Southern Cross University over the course of the last three years, show that most of those surveyed recognise the potential adverse effects of such mining.
This one quoted below was conducted this year.
"Research undertaken for NSW landholder groups has confirmed that a massive 85% of people surveyed agree that the coal and coal seam gas industries are threatening our water supplies, including groundwater.
"The poll of 1100 people in New South Wales conducted by Essential Research also revealed that 81% of those surveyed agreed that the coal and coal seam gas industries threaten the state's farmland and agricultural industries.
"Also of concern, but not new to NSW Farmers was the finding that 81% of respondents to the poll agreed that coal and coal seam gas extraction offered short-term economic return to investors but at the expense of local long-term industries such as farming and tourism.
"NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson said these messages, which are strong and incredibly consistent across all areas of the state are still not getting through to the government." [NSW Farmers media release, June 20, 2013]
Hall & Partners Open Mind, on behalf of one national newspaper, also conducted a survey of senior oil and gas executives this year which found that "69% agreed community concern over the effect of CSG production on groundwater was valid."
Judith M. Melville

ABC News Mid North Coast 24 October 2013:

The Ballina Mayor says he'd like to see a coal seam gas exclusion zone around the entire shire.
Councillors this week supported a staff recommendation to ask the State Government to protect more agricultural land from CSG development.
David Wright says the council also wants a two-kilometre buffer zone around the villages of Tintenbar and Newrybar.
He says virtually no-one supports the industry setting up in Ballina.
"Maybe a two-kilometre exclusion zone around the entire boundary of the shire would be appropriate," Cr Wright said....

The Northern Star 25 October 2013:

BALLINA Shire Council will write to the State Government asking for the villages of Newrybar and Tintenbar to be included in the coal seam gas exclusion zones.
The council's submission will also include a statement that the council "does not support CSG mining anywhere within the shire".

 Daily News (Tweed Heads) 26 October 2013:

A LEFT-leaning think tank is accusing the coal seam gas industry of hiding information from the public, dismissing environmental damage while spruiking potentially exaggerated financial benefits.
A report by The Australian Institute titled, What Australians Don't Know About CSG, is the result of an online survey of 1400 people about the industry.
The institute publishes research largely critical of the resources industry - its last 10 reports on the sector have been negative.
Its claims are disputed by the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association - the industry peak body with members including some of the world's largest gas companies.
According to the institute, a third of the population had no knowledge of CSG. Most did not know the difference between CSG and liquefied natural gas, which is a compressed and processed version of the gas that is then exported.
Almost 90% of those surveyed felt farmers should be able to refuse gas exploration on their land. The institute's senior economist Matt Grundoff said this was the result of the industry trying to keep a low profile. Findings also suggested just 2% felt it was a key issue that politicians should act on, ranking number 13 out of 15 other issues....

Coal Seam Gas News 30 October 2013:

Mr Ian Gaillard, Northern Rivers regional coordinator for Lock The Gate and several other  gasfield-free activists attended today’s Metgasco AGM in North Sydney. Mr Gaillard says the mood in the meeting was one of ‘frustration boiling over’.
Mr Gaillard reported that “The CEO had told the meeting that the last 2 years had been frustrating and difficult and he also revealed that the company had expected community concern would subside after March 2011 state election but it didn’t, it escalated.”
“CEO Peter Henderson also told the meeting that the investment climate for our industry in NSW is zero and that no one wants to come into our acreage.” Mr Gaillard said......


The Northern Star 31 October 2013:

LOCAL environmental scientist and coal-seam gas activist Boudicca Cerese has been named on an honour roll of "hidden treasures" at the NSW Rural Women's Gathering in Scone held last weekend.
The annual Department of Primary Industries-sponsored list recognises the contribution of rural women in the community in a variety of volunteer roles.
A resident of the Northern Rivers for 20 years, Ms Cerese (pictured) became involved in the local opposition against CSG in late 2010 when she led an effort to lobby against Metgasco's planned Lions Way pipeline.
This included directing a petition bound for then-environment Minister Tony Burke to consider World Heritage impacts of the planned pipeline.
Metgasco ended up abandoning the project as a short-term priority following the increased community resistance....

Mudgee Guardian 1 November 2013:

A horseback trek from Clarence Valley to Canberra passed through Bylong on Wednesday, protesting coal seam gas and promoting “clean water as our most valuable resource”.
This afternoon “The Woop Woop March” arrives in Rylstone after six weeks crossing the state’s bushland, country roads and travelling stock routes.
Leading the constant brigade of about seven riders to Parliament House is Glenugie stockman Mick Franklin. His family have been on the land since the 1800s.
“We are protesting CSG and just as importantly promoting sustainable farming and clean water,” he said.
“I’ve donated a few horses and invited anybody to come and join us on the ride from Clarence to Canberra. You don’t have to be an expert rider as we’ve had some riders on the journey who were still learning.”
The troupe have seen their neighbours fight CSG battles in the Clarence Valley and are concerned about potentially damaging effects to the water supply. 
Before this trek began Mr Franklin took “fact finding” trips to Tara and Chinchilla, through the Wieambilla Estate in Queensland. He said it was evident how many of the country’s regional towns had become “industrialised”.

 * Metgasco ordinary shares fell by 3.57% on 28 October 2013 immediately after the release of the September quarterly activities report.

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