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April 12, 2021

NSW Labor promises a CSG-free northern rivers

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Some of the crowd at the Bentley blockade outside Lismore. (file pic)
Some of the crowd at the Bentley blockade outside Lismore. (file pic)

The NSW Labor Party has promised to make the northern rivers region a coal seam gas (CSG) free zone if it wins the next election.

Delegates at the party’s state conference in Sydney on Sunday backed a motion to declare the north coast of NSW and the northern rivers CSG free.

The ban would cover Lismore, Ballina, Clarence and Tweed electorates.

Former federal Labor MP Janelle Saffin told the conference, held in Sydney’s Town Hall, that the motion aligned the party’s platform with community opposition to CSG mining.

Lismore election candidate Isaac Smith and federal Richmond MP Justine Elliott spoke in favour of the ban, as did Tweed Labor candidate Ron Goodman.

The motion comes after the NSW government in May suspended Metgasco’s drilling licence in Bentley, just outside Lismore.

The suspension came just days before thousands of protesters were expected to form a blockade at the drill site and up to 800 police officers were detailed to monitor their activities.

Metgasco has filed for a judicial review in the Supreme Court.

Tweed Labor candidate Ron Goodman said Tweed voters now had a clear choice to protect the Tweed’s future.

‘A vote for Labor will be a vote to protect the North Coast from the coal seam gas industry, while a vote for the pro-gas Nationals will be a vote to give CSG the green light,’ Mr Goodman said.

‘Labor cares about the jobs of people in the Tweed and will stand firm to protect them, while National Party MPs want to put our future at risk by backing the CSG industry.

‘Only Labor will stand up for a CSG-free North Coast. The choice is clear.’

Mr Goodman said the protection of the region from the ravages of coal seam gas was vital to protect jobs in tourism and agriculture.

‘In 2013 more than one million visitors came to the Tweed, pumping many millions of dollars in to the local economy. That is what is at stake.’


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

‘Congratulations to Labor for taking a policy position on coal seam gas that acknowledges the overwhelming community opposition to this invasive industry on the North Coast, he said.




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  1. So the ALP have forsaken other communities fighting csg in places like Glouster, the Hunter and Illawarra!

    They need to stop taking political donations from coal and gas companies before I’d take this electoral opportunism seriously!

    Not good enough!

  2. Haha isn’t that what the liberal nationals promised in the last state election ? The labor party are the ones responsible for the csg mess were in both here and Queensland ! There has been one and only one party who has stood by the people opposed to csg and that is the greens and anything that the other parties say is becoming increasingly hard to believe !

  3. The Greens and Labor are saying that these regions should become CSG free.
    Does this also apply to the products made by CSG?
    Do they plan to banned LPG vehicles, taxis, BBQ gas, gas hot water, fertiliser, plastics, electricty (on those really hot days when gas turbines are used to provide peak demand)?
    Otherwise this campaign is simply a NIMBY exercise.

    They (if elected) have every right to ban CSG, provided the full effect is understood.

    Is it okay for somewhere else to to have to do the hard yards and you get to live off the fruits of their labours?

  4. While I welcome this decision it smacks of a certain amount of desperation on the part of the Alt Libs – why else limit this fine policy to the North Coast? Surely, by acknowledging the danger which unconventional gas mining represents on the North Coast, they have acknowledged the danger it represents to ALL regions, so why restrict this policy to one region?

    Surely it can only be in response to the obvious “on-the-nose” nature of the local Alliance politicians and the associated fear that Green or independent candidates will be able to capitalise on the lack of leadership currently shown on this crucial issue?

    The fact is that neither Alt Lib or Alliance fractions have shown true leadership in this policy area and the decision to limit this policy to the Northern Rivers merely recognises the total lack of a Social Licence to Operate of companies like the Fiasco while abandoning other communities to be ravaged by other gas miners – Gloucester by AGL, the Pilliga/ Liverpool Plains by Santos,

    As an aside, I note the decision of one share “discussion” site to ban discussion of this article – “The MEL threads are not here for hijacking purposes by those with other agendas, but rather for discussions relative to the “business” of Metgasco from an investment perspective.” Presumably this policy, which would effectively put the Fiasco out of its current business, is deemed irrelevant “from an investment perspective”! Surely one of the more bizarre (and blatant) efforts to manipulate “discussion” regarding that stock!

  5. At least it’s a step in the right direction and another win for the anti-CSG lobby and for democracy. Given the enormous importance my family puts on this environmental issue, it makes me feel a lot safer, even though I inherently distrust all politicians, especially while there’s absolutely no political or legal obligation to keep electoral promises.
    There’s a world of difference between the pathetic lone voice of Kevin Hogan, vowing to cross the floor, and Labour’s party-endorsed official announcement.


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