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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

CSG buyback scheme ‘needs transparency and urgency’

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Thomas George on election day 2015 day at a polling booth in Lismore. Mr George was returned on a promised to buy back CSG licences in the northern rivers. Three months on, the scheme has been extended but none of the region's seven licences have been returned. Photo Tree Faerie.
Thomas George on election day 2015 day at a polling booth in Lismore. Mr George was returned on a promised to buy back CSG licences in the northern rivers. Three months on, the scheme has been extended but none of the region’s seven licences have been returned. Photo Tree Faerie.

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers has welcomed yesterday’ news from energy minister Anthony Roberts that the Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) buyback scheme will be extended for three more months.

While stopping short of saying the scheme, which has failed to purchase any northern rivers licences since the state election, was a stunt the group says that the community expects the issue to be resolved soon.

MP Thomas George’s comments on Tuesday that ‘it could take years’ doesn’t meet community expectations according to Gasfield Free Northern Rivers coordinator Dean Draper, who says ‘there is an urgent need to resolve the issue now.’

‘After years of fighting to remain gasfield free, our community has grown weary of the promises and inaction by the government to protect us from invasive gas mining.’ Mr Draper said

‘It seemed to be very urgent one week before the election when Thomas George and Troy Grant announced a promise to buyback a licence, but now it seems even that’s no longer a priority, with Thomas George telling us it could be years away,’ he added.

‘There are seven licences that cover the northern rivers and we need to know the government is working towards removing them all and when that is going to happen. We need certainty, we need protection and we need it now.

‘Why is it so hard to get transparency in the process or any firm commitment from the government now that the election is over? This has gone on too long. Our community wants to get back to their lives and to have the threat of dangerous gas mining hanging over our heads does not allow that to happen.

‘We’re counting on the Nationals MPs Thomas George and Chris Gulaptis whose electorates are almost completely covered with these gas mining licences, we’re counting on them to communicate with us, to let us know what they are doing and when we will be protected.’ said Mr Draper

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. You will not get transparency in a government system that has been infected with the malignant cancer called private interests. You know the system is dodgy when information is suppressed because of “commercial confidentiality”.

    So why do we keep voting for people and parties that do not represent the will of the majority?

    Were you asked prior to the last federal/state election whether you were in favour of privatising the public health system or gaols or aged care or disabled care, etc etc?

    Government for and by the people is being undermined by way of stealth, deception and our complacency.

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