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May 15, 2021

Metgasco riled by April Fools prank

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Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson was not amused by a hoax email issued on the company’s letterhead yesterday, which claimed it was abandoning plans to drill for gas in the northern rivers.

While the joke was really on protesters, who have been hoping for exactly this outcome, Mr Henderson still found cause to complain at the misuse of the company’s letterhead.

So much so that the company has referred the matter to ASIC.

The press release, which was better worded than many this office receives, was sent by Lismore secondary student Kudra Falla-Ricketts.

The 16-year-old Trinity student did not attempt to disguise her email identity and said she sent the letter before going to school yesterday morning.

The contents certainly would have been any gas opponent’s dream come true but Kudra, who is the daughter of SCU lecturer and activist Aidan Ricketts, said she didn’t think anyone would believe it.

‘We take the issue of social license [sic] seriously and it had become clear to us that communities in the northern rivers are overwhelmingly opposed to the development of industrial gasfields,’ the letter read.

‘We want to make a new start in partnership with communities in the northern rivers and to this end we will withdraw all operations from Bentley and throughout the northern rivers,’ it continued.

It went on to offer to be a partner in the region’s alternative energy plans.

‘We are proposing instead to engage in wide-raging [sic] community consultation to gain support for the construction of a baseload solar-thermal plant near Casino that will provide sustainable power to Richmond Dairies and other local industries and will add to the northern rivers’ reputation as a clean and green region focused upon sustainability and clean agriculture,’ it read.

The letter finished by apologising to people of the northern rivers for ‘the stress caused to the communities of the northern rivers as a result of our ill fated industrialisation plans’ and congratulating CSG opponents ‘for the peaceful and united way in which they have demonstrated their enthusiasm to remain a gasfield-free region’.

‘We’ve all got a sense of humour and we can all sit back and laugh at ourselves from time to time,’ Mr Henderson admitted, ‘but where do you draw the line?’

He admitted the hoax did no harm but claimed that was only because Metgasco reported the hoax to the Australia Securities Exchange before trading opened for the day.

The company issued a four-line media statement yesterday saying, ‘Metgasco Limited has been made aware of a hoax media release suggesting that Metgasco will cease conducting unconventional gas activities in the Clarence Moreton Basin. There is no substance to the hoax media release. Metgasco intends to continue its conventional and unconventional gas exploration and development activities.’

There was a temporary halt to trading in Metgasco shares on the ASX yesterday but shares were up 1.1 per cent at 9.5 cents by mid-afternoon.

Activist Jonathan Moylan is still awaiting trial for a prank he conducted last year saying the ANZ Bank was withdrawing its support from the controversial Whitehaven Coal project after that matter was referred to ASIC.

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  1. I think a few thousand similar letters from anyone in the mood to type one up on the metagasco letterhead & send it on the rounds is in order.. Let ASIC deal with prosecuting thousands.. strength in numbers people.

  2. I think Kudra has proposed a way forward that many in the Northern Rivers would support.
    Maybe Mr Henderson should put the idea of a solar-thermal power station on the agenda for discussion
    at Metgasgo’s next board meeting?

  3. Good on you Kudra, what a great idea! I can see that you are going to make a wonderful contribution to our society in the things that matter for the world.

  4. Metgasco doesn’t really need any outside help to do Metgasco harm. This company shot itself in the foot the minute it dared ignore community sentiment and began storming relentlessly, often at ratepayer’s expense, through our beautiful country. Such actions will no doubt prove very expensive. May Metgasco’s coffers dry out very, very soon.

  5. The reaction from Metgasco brought to mind a story about Eddie Ward, an old time ALP Fevderal MP.

    Eddie referred to another MP as “having the brains of a sheep”.

    The other MP took offence and demanded withdrawal of the comment.

    Eddie rose slowly to his feet, stood in silence for a moment and said “I withdraw the comment. The Honourable Member does not have the brains of a sheep”.

    Peter Henderson needs to be carefull what he wishes for.

  6. Hopefully Metgasco realises that the region is under duress from their companies incessant desire to start an industrial process that is beginning to show that it is unsafe in most all of the regions unconventional gas mining is happening. From toxic water in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and closer to home the Pilliga it is evident that this industry is moving too fast and needs to be stopped to assess the damages and long term impacts in Texas, Wyoming and Southeast Queensland.

    Kudra’s email outlines the wishes of the majority of the community that lives here. There is no social license and it should be deemed criminal to start an activity that is proven to contaminate ground water with toxic chemicals, cause harm to human health and will negatively impact most other businesses and industries including our farming communities.

    The crime here is the government is spending huge amounts of tax payers dollars to force an industry on a region that is so strongly opposed to. Facilitating a company to poison it’s citizen is a form of genocide. This is how a lot of us are feeling about the threat of this industry. Most of us 87%+ have researched the industry, visited unconventional well sites and met with people impacted from CSG. Just look at all the money lost by people missing work to try and protect our air, water and future. Less money in the wallet means less money spent buying goods. This industry is already having a negative impact on the regions economy. If the industry goes ahead, they fly in and fly out workers, real estate values go down and we are left with a toxic industrial wasteland. Hmmmmm…. and Mr. Henderson is saying he’s wondering where to draw the line and has reported an april fools joke to ASIC.


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