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April 16, 2021

CSG lobby attacks Labor election stand

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Coal seam gas (CSG) mining is set to become a major state election issue on the north coast next March following the latest war of words on the industry’s bid to get a foothold in the region.

Yesterday, the CSG industry lobby group attacked NSW Labor’s move to declare the NSW north coast CSG free if it wins government next year.

But Labor responded by saying the coalition, if it retains power, plans to expand CSG mining on the north coast.

The latest political stoush on the CSG issue has been welcomed by campaigners against the industry  who say they hope it does become a major election issue.

At the recent Labor state conference, delegates backed a ban on CSG mining in the northern rivers region covering the Lismore, Ballina, Clarence and Tweed state electorates.

The motion followed the NSW government’s suspension in May of Metgasco’s licence to drill at Bentley, just outside Lismore.

Yesterday, the Australian Petroleum Producers and Exporters Association (APPEA) attacked what it claimed was ‘Labor’s political opportunism’, after NSW premier Mike Baird ruled out the coalition supporting a ban on CSG mining such as that proposed by Labor.

APPEA director Michael Bradley told media Labor should not use the issue for a political benefit, but base any regulation of the industry on science and not on fear campaigns.

Mr Bradley told ABC radio that tourism and other rural-based industries could co-exist with CSG exploration and mining.

‘Regulation of any industry should be geared toward the management of risks, not pandering to fear campaigns or to accentuate fear in their community,’ he said.

CSG-Free Northern Rivers spokesperson Boudicca Cerese said she hoped Labor’s move would help make CSG a major election issue in the region which overwhelmingly opposed the industry.

Greens NSW candidate Adam Guise welcomed the NSW Labor Party’s policy shift but pointed out that the Greens had been opposing GSG for years.

Labor candidate for Tweed Ron Goodman said yesterday ‘a vote for the pro-gas Nationals will be a vote to expand CSG mining’.

Mr Goodman said this was confirmed by a report in The Australian this week in which Mr Baird said he was more interested in having a ‘consistent’ position on CSG mining rather than enforcing CSG bans.

‘This means that the National Party will go to the state election with plans to expand CSG mining in our region,’ Mr Goodman said.

The Metgasco suspension came just days before thousands of protesters were expected to form a blockade at the drill site. Up to 800 police officers had been detailed to enforce the mining operation.


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  1. “Tourism and CSG can co-exist”: Michael Bradley, Director, APPEA.

    A lot of farmers and environmentalists are touring the Queensland gas fields and returning to NSW more determined than ever to protect their lands.

    Not the sort of tourism we want in the Northern Rivers!

  2. Even though Labor are responsible for all the CSG licenses (due to not doing their homework at the outset) we can only hope that other politicians will also listen to the people, and the science, which is irrefutable … !

    • Hi Rossco,

      It isn’t clear from your comment about what is actually irrefutable about CSG. Could you direct me to the scientific papers on CSG that show the science is irrefutable.


  3. CSG and other types of Unconventional Gas (UG) Projects are not compatible with the Northern Rivers inhabitants and to force coexistence is unacceptable as the overwhelming majority of the population is opposed to the proliferation of gasfields in the Northern Rivers. The communities have said it loud and clear that they do not welcome the Toxic Industry.

    Mr Martin Fergusson works for the APPEA AND THAT IS HIS JOB TO ATTACK THE OPPOSITION. wether it is Labor or/and Green Party.One thing is for sure that the theory that fracking is safe is nonsense and non scientific. Is really more like -Bad science and denialism.

    Fracking is linked to water contamination and earthquakes reason that even Texan communities, the heart of oil and gas are starting to ban fracking given the the cumulative impacts.

    The Gas Industry will profiteer at our expense by exploiting the fear of loss of jobs if we don’t embrace the Dirty Industry. But what we really need to expose is fracking and the Political Framework! We want Northern Rivers Gasfield Free.

  4. Nice to think that Labor will finally work towards ending CSG on the North Coast of NSW.

    How about the rest of the State including the Pilliga?

    Oh yes Martin Nicholson: BRING ON THE SCIENCE! But not the lies and half truths constantly emanating from the CSG and mining industries!

    Decent people do NOT want arable Farmlands, forests, wildlife, aquifers, reefs, etc ruined by toxic chemicals, salt, cleared land and infrastructure and other risks to the environment.

  5. Nosocialicence has really said it all, Martin Fergusson working for appea (no concience) nothing only financial gain. Nosocialicence’s last paragraph is sad but true, look into the political framework that the PEL’s are granted, I can only re-iterate we want the northern rivers Gasfield Free…………………..

  6. I certainly don’t trust The Greens on this subject. It was the Greens backed Labor party in Queensland that started this industry here, and the Greens backed Federal Labor Party that approved the projects. The Greens were late comers to the battle who have simply tried to make it look like they are the leaders in the campaign. Don’t be fooled by any politician.
    While saving the Northern Rivers is good, why save it and sacrifice the rest of the country? If unconventional gas mining is too dangerous for The Northern Rivers then it is too dangerous everywhere.
    Martin Ferguson works for BG Group Australia, BG Group Australia runs Queensland Gas Company, a CSG company that operates in this area. I want someone to ask Martin Ferguson about the radiation accident that happened on the 28th of February 2014.
    Graeme Henderson, Tara, Qld.


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