A mining company that holds a petroleum exploration licence over a large part of northern NSW, including Byron Shire, says it intends to ‘relinquish non-prospective and certain coastal areas in due course’.
And Byron Shire councillor Diane Woods is taking the credit.
Dart Energy’s vague announcement comes as part of the PEL445 licence renewal process, which covers 7,076km2 of the Clarence-Morton Basin.
Echonetdaily understands that the relinquishment of approximately 25 per cent of the licensed exploration area is required each time an exploration application is renewed, as the explorer needs to progressively demonstrate which parts of the area it plans to develop.
But Cr Diane Woods says the move follows her successful motion to write to Dart Energy requesting they remove Byron Shire from the licence area.
‘My understanding is that this would include all of the licence area within Byron Shire, which the company has stated is non-prospective for CSG.
‘This confirms that the CSG industry in simply not interested in Byron Shire and other coastal areas.
‘[This] should remove the unnecessary fears that have been incited in local residents and in the mind of our federal member Justine Elliot.’
Another petroleum exploration licence for the region was applied for in March 2012 by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC).
The announcement at the time caused a stir within local Aboriginal land councils (LALCs) across the state who were opposed to mining.
Enquiries to the NSWALC in relation to their mining exploration activities have remained unanswered.