Monday, 17 November 2014

NSW North Coast Nationals issue a misleading media release on the future of the gas industry in the region

Australia’s oil and gas industry welcomes the NSW Government’s recognition that the state is facing an avoidable energy security problem and that policy must change to encourage supply. [Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, media release,13 November 2014]

NSW National Party MPs Thomas George, Don Page, Chris Gulaptis and Geoff Provest issued this media release on 13 November 2014, misleadingly titled NEW POLICY PROVIDES FRAMEWORK FOR A GASFIELD FREE NORTHERN RIVERS.

Unfortunately the Baird Coalition Government’s policy does not guarantee any such framework; almost all of the Northern Rivers is still vulnerable and parts of the region could still become designated gasfields and existing exploration and/or production licences could still be progressed by mining companies currently operating on the state's north coast.

This NSW Dept. of Energy and Resources map gives the lie to the George, Gulaptis, Provest and Page claim that we are on a Coalition road to a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers:

Petroleum (coal seam gas) exploration licences remain from the NSW-Qld border down into the Clarence Valley.

Application Identifier, Application Number, and Application Date:

PELA 130 16 December 2009 (1 block about 51 km SW of Lismore held by Metgasco Limited)
PELA 135 31 March 2011
PELA 137 12 March 2012
PELA 144 28 November 2012
PELA 146 22 February 2013
PELA 147 22 February 2013
PELA 148 27 February 2013
PELA 150 11 November 2013
PELA 151 11 November 2013
PELA 152 11 November 2013
PSPAPP 48 15 December 2009 (1 block about 41 km SW of Lismore held by Clarence Moreton Resources Pty Limited)
PSPAPP 54 21 November 2011
PSPAPP 56 22 February 2012
PSPAPP 57 22 February 2012
PSPAPP 62 21 June 2013
PSPAPP 63 6 December 2013

The Northern Star 14 November 2014:

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers co-ordinator Elly Bird said the announcement provided no protection for the Northern Rivers and did not acknowledge the community opposition to the industry.
"It's also very misleading of the NSW Government to say they have accepted all 16 recommendations of the Chief Scientist, when they've done no such thing," Ms Bird said.
Bentley farmer Meg Nielson said the community would stand up and protect their land until the licences were cancelled.

"Our community wholeheartedly rejects the industrialisation of our landscapes, and landholders across the Northern Rivers remain united in their complete rejection of unconventional gas extraction. We are bitterly disappointed that the government is still not listening to us," she said.

I suggest that Northern Rivers residents take the time to read the actual Liberal-Nationals policy document here and, ask questions of Resources Minister Anthony Roberts before casting their vote in the March 2015 state election.

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