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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Govt could still backflip on Bentley

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While we are all jubilant that the Office of CSG has upheld the suspension of Metgasco’s exploration license, we should not forget the Lib/Nat state government’s previous actions after the last NSW Local Government election in 2012 and we need to be concerned they will not do the same thing again after the state election early next year.

In September 2012, the NSW State government announced it had renewed the CSG exploration licences in the North Coast and granted a new production licence to Metgasco just two days after the Local Government election. This was despite the result from the AEC plebiscite run concurrently with the election which showed that 87 per cent of Lismore residents opposed CSG exploration and production in their area. The Liberal-National Party government blatantly ignored the community’s wishes then.

A couple of months later in December 2012, energy minister Hartcher said in one of my favourite quotes of his: “In NSW we have 250 years of gas supply in known reserves under the ground and yet to be accessed. If we are unable to access gas,  the lights will go out. It’s as simple as that.” (Daily Telegraph 09/12/12) I don’t think the National Party’s MP’s views have changed despite what they have said today about the suspension.

People felt betrayed then and are right to be wary now. We need the certainty of a full cancellation of the Metgasco licence now not just a suspension.

Sue Stock, Nimbin

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  1. Indeed, we do require a complete cancellation of Metgasco’s licence, rather than the current ‘suspension’ which offers little beyond uncertainty.

    Metgasco’s way of being is now all too well understood by the people of this area. It is too late for consultation, as few would believe a word that passed ‘Metgasco’s’ collective lips. We’ve had the heads-up on this company, and 90-odd percent of people simply don’t trust a company that is fuelled by corporate greed and clearly acts without conscience as relates to our communal environment, health and wellbeing.

    Metgasco is not welcome here. No amount of legal gymnastics on its behalf will alter that truth. Our government will decide either to protect the environment that we all rely upon, or to effectively hand our future over to corporate greed.

    Such a decision, whilst possible, is entirely unacceptable, so we will remain vigilant, hope earnestly that our ‘representatives of the people’ have researched thoroughly and will therefore reach the only acceptable and responsible conclusion.

    Should that not be the case, Australian taxpayers and citizens will be acutely aware of any alternate decision, and any utilisation of our public service by an unwelcome private company answerable to overseas interests will be met by intense public scrutiny.


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