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