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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Metgasco gets production licence

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The state government yesterday renewed Metgasco’s Petroleum Exploration Licences 13 and 16, two of its key licences in the Lismore-Casino region. And it has issued the company’s first production licence for its previous test wells southwest of Casino, which will fire a 30MW power station in the area.

The government also lifted the moratorium on fracking and renewed a number of other CSG exploration licences across NSW.

On the same day, the government released its much-vaunted Strategic Regional Land Use Policy, which immediately faced a blizzard of opposition from a range of groups (see separate story page 2).

‘The NSW community should be confident now that yet another state government has thoroughly assessed the industry and given CSG a green light,’ Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson said yesterday.

Earlier this year, Metgasco was found to be illegally dumping wastewater from the company’s holding ponds into the Richmond Valley Council sewer. The council was reprimanded over the incident but was subsequently given permission by the EPA to accept wastewater in the future.

The licence granted yesterday is in the same area where the infringements took place.

A Metgasco spokesperson told Echonetdaily the licence relates to a previous Part 3A ruling by the former state Labor government, which had already granted permission for the power station. He said the company did not yet have a time frame for full production.

A Lock the Gate Northern Rivers spokesperson described the licence renewals as ‘an insult to the communities of the region who are overwhelmingly opposed to the industry’, after 87 per cent of people voted no to CSG in the last week’s Lismore Council poll.

‘The state government has now clearly capitulated to the vested interests of the CSG industry through their politically connected lobbyists and abandoned the communities they are elected to represent,’ said the group’s Ian Gaillard.

‘In renewing Metgasco’s exploration licences the state government has given the green light to an industry that has no social licence to operate in the region and has taken scant notice of community input on the issue.’


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  1. You have misunderstood. The whole of Australia is run for and by mining companies. Our governments are nothing but their puppets.

  2. Not even a week since the Lismore Shire voted LOUD AND CLEAR that CSG mining is not what the vast majority of people want! Obviously we count for nothing and this deal was made some time ago. This battle will turn ugly if the peoples’ voice continues to be ignored. CSG and unconventional mining activities if allowed to proceed will be worse than war … at least there is an end to war, with the degradation and spoilage of our water systems and food security the repercussions will be felt for hundreds of years. Well done Barry.

  3. The Govt has again shot themselves in the foot.To thumb the wishes of vast amounts of concerned people is begging for discontent within the populance and Govt should get ready for just about anything…….Eureeka Stockade no2 coming up…

  4. Time for civil disobedience. Dust off the war paint chest. Assholes do not have license to destroy our planet at will and nor do governments.

  5. If Mr Henderson thinks the community will recognise this “licence to operate” granted by an out of touch government, then he has sadly misjudged the determination of the community to be the masters of their own destiny.

  6. Ditto to above.

    What insufferable ignorance, demonstrated by the csg advocates, to believe that we really can eat money and drink fracking wastewater.

    Pity this planet’s children.

    United we stand, and all that.


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