16.9 C
Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

CSG audit ‘a farce’: Greens

Latest News

Marvell Hall’s ‘Dangerously Poetic’ fundraiser

In the 1880s the streets of Byron Bay (named after Vice-Admiral John Byron) were mistakenly named for English writers and philosophers by a Sydney clerk who had the romantic idea that the town was named after the sailor’s grandson George Gordon Byron (poet).

Other News

Cocaine bust in Byron Shire, 7 men arrested

Police say two separate investigations into the ongoing supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay area have led to charges against seven men.

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’...

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

Cringe worthy PM

Keith Duncan, Pimlico After cringing at the spectacle of Scott Morrison blatantly lying to President Biden during that virtual climate...

Interview with Mell and Zara from the Byron Comedy Fest

After a year under a COVID-19 hiatus, The Byron Comedy Fest is back! Next Thursday sees this fledgling event open the doors to its second weekend presenting all that is fabulous and funny. Set on the Byron beachfront at the Byron Surf Club and styled as a classy bespoke beachside speakeasy, this event is the creative lovechild of besties Zara Noruzi and Mell Coppin.

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.

Chris Dobney

The Greens have joined a chorus of condemnation over the state government’s recently released coal and gas exploration licence audit, calling it a ‘farce’.

Greens MP and NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham told Echonetdaily that it failed to even identify major environmental issues that have already been publicly reported.

‘It appears that not one of the 20 environmental and safety incidents self-reported by Santos at its Pillaga site have made it into the government’s audit report. You would think that even if the government noted the company’s action to self-report and that it would still be included in the official figures,’ Mr Buckingham said.

In a media release issued today, the government described last week’s report as ‘a state-wide audit of all coal and coal seam gas exploration licences’.

In fact, the first phase was a ‘desktop’ audit only. And the report itself admits that out of a total 187 coal exploration licences (ELs) and 49 petroleum (coal-seam gas) exploration licences (PELs), just 20 ELs and 22 PELs were identified and then targeted for Phase 2. Only Phase 2 involved a detailed, so-called independent audit to identify licence-holder compliance with all conditions.

These ‘independent’ audits, including preparation of the audit reports, were carried out by auditors directly engaged by the licence-holders.

The Santos/Eastern Star Pillaga site was not included in the Phase 2 audit, despite Santos having confessed to spills of contaminated groundwater into the Pillaga State Forest last year, at a time when the PEL was held by Eastern Star.

Mr Buckingham went further in his condemnation of the audit, saying the department that issues the licences should not be responsible for auditing licence-holders or identifying what actions should be taken when they are found to have committed breaches.

‘The issue is there is an inherent conflict of interest with Energy and Resources, which is the licensing body, conducting the audits. It has an agenda of seeing these gas and mining projects developed. They should be conducted by the EPA as is the case once developments are up and running,’ he told Echonetdaily.

‘There are no teeth. Imagine if an individual was killing vegetation and polluting creeks. At a local government level they would be subject to very serious fines and potentially prosecution. These companies appear to get away with it with impunity,’ he said.

Yesterday Lock the Gate – Tweed called for suspension of local licence-holder Arrow Energy over its non-compliance with licence conditions at its Northern Rivers exploration sites.

But in the report, under the heading of ‘Action Undertaken by Division of Resources & Energy’ is the ambiguous response ‘corrective action sought from licence-holder’.

There is no suggestion of fines or tougher licence conditions contained in the report.

Echonetdaily twice sought answers to a list of questions from the minister Chris Hartcher yesterday but no response was received by deadline.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. The gas has been sold the deal will be done unless people stand up and shout it down.
    This saturday 14th the shouting begins in Lismore at the
    CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY to launch Keerrong & The Channon as CSG Free!

    Invitation to ALL citizens of roads and valleys around The Channon / Keerrong and supporters from the Northern Rivers.

    Be part of HISTORY. Join us in a CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY to launch Keerrong & The Channon as CSG Free

    This is the first Aust community to declare itself CSG free by a majority decision of residents- 99%!

    They are from all walks of life sharing a resolve to protect their community, to share their story and to inspire other communities.

    At this historic ceremony, starting at 2 pm:

    • The creeks and roads will be drawn on the oval

    • Residents will stand on their “roads”

    • They will pass the Road Declaration scrolls down each road, like Olympic torches

    • These will be presented to our Mayor Jenny Dowell

    • Afterwards, we’ll all celebrate with a great concert. Top performers

    • Food, cakes and drinks will be sold to raise funds

    VISITORS – please arrive before 2pm to avoid car congestion. Share car rides.

    Important. Bring folding chairs or rug to sit on. Bring Akubra hats if possible in

    support of farmers.

    For more info contact Annie Kia – 66886C260.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Humans suck

Hannah Grace, Ocean Shores I heard on the local news late this afternoon (April 20) that a 370kg tuna had been pulled from the...

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.