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March 4, 2021

Metgasco refuses to divulge drilling plans

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Metgasco's office in Casino. (File pic)
Metgasco’s office in Casino. (File pic)

Northern Rivers residents opposed to coal seam gas mining should keep a close eye on the Australian Stock Exchange if they want to know when drilling might start at the Bentley.

Despite announcing that ‘negotiations with a drilling contractor to drill the Rosella well are almost complete’ on September 29, a spokesperson for Metgasco told Echonetdaily this morning she had ‘no idea’ when negotiations would be completed.

That’s despite the company announcing more than two weeks ago that it ‘plans to announce the selection of the contractor and the proposed timing for the Rosella drilling program in the next few weeks’.

Asked whether Northern Rivers residents would be directly informed by the company, the spokesperson said ‘everyone can look at the ASX’.

Meanwhile, the company’s managing director Peter Henderson rejected suggestions that a Lismore City Council decision this week could stop Metgasco using local roads to carry out seismic testing and other activities.

Mr Henderson told local media that the company had state government approval and that was what ‘counts’.

‘If the New South Wales Government gives us the right to explore, wouldn’t it be absurd if local councils could simply stand in the way on the basis of ideological reasons?’ Mr Henderson said.

‘That would be absurd.’

Lismore MP Thomas George, whose son works for the company, backed the miner in comments to APN media, saying he did not believe Lismore City Council was in a position to stop the mining company from using local roads.

‘The council wants it stopped, but I don’t believe they’re in a situation where they can stop it,’ Mr George said.

Despite promising prior to the election that the state government would purchase CSG licences in the region, Mr George has failed to deliver on the promise.

Instead, he is now challenging Lismore council to match the state government’s funding offer to Metgasco.

‘My challenge to Lismore City Council and Mayor Jenny Dowell is to join with the government and put whatever funds they have into purchasing back the PEL’ he told media.

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said the suggestion was ridiculous.

‘The licence has nothing to do with Lismore City Council and we would not contemplate participating in any kind of buy-off,’ Cr Dowell said.

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  1. Fantastic, So when the ASX price drops to near zero we know drilling is about to commence.
    Thats so helpful thanks for the feedback

    Oh, also thankou to George for being honest and transparent and finally let us know where he stands.

  2. it’s also good to know MEL are being transparent honest and open with their shareholders. I’m sure it’s really appreciated . It’s exactly the kind of rigorous professionalism we require from a reputable, competent, blup-chip- standard solid and viable company with long term international financial prospects.

    Although reading the ongoing, intensive, more than impolite feedback on the various online shareholder forums one may be convinced otherwise

  3. Excellent article.

    And glad to see you have noted the “Elephant in the room” Thomas George’s son being the Land Manager for Metgasco.

    I still can’t understand how this is not considered a “conflict of interest”.

    Thomas George has remained virtually silent on the threat of CSG in the region, even when he has had 86% plus of his electorate screaming to stop Coal Seam Gas.

    Yet now he is setting out “Challenges” to local Government to help buy out the company his son works for? What the????

    As I read somewhere today, “extortion”? Pay up or we come back.

    • No, no Lisa,
      There is no ‘conflict’ here , as both are determined to capitalize on any/all of Australia’s resources, the so called commonwealth.
      In fact Abbots legacy of exploitation and removal of “green tape” (read, any regulation designed to prevent wholesale catastrophic rape of Your environment ) has been endorsed by not only the National party but also these vile emissaries from (Mordor) sorry, I mean, Metgasco.
      Live long and prosper, G”)

  4. Metgasco is trying to up the anti with their posturing, threats and blather to improve their negotiating position.
    I say bring it on, call their bluff, they will no more succeed in the face of determined community opposition than they have before.
    More importantly Thomas George must be brought to heel, he just scraped through the last election on the votes of those few foolish enough to believed in his questionable integrity. He must be held to his pre-election promises, or clearly been seen to be in the service the CSG industry, instead of the community he is supposed to serve.
    Perhaps it might be time to organise a recall election if that is possible under our system, I’ll; bet there will be many willing volunteers for that one.

  5. What is “absurd” is Peter Henderson thinking, or pretending to think, that what “counts” is the State government’s approval. That supremely unwise man shouldn’t trivialise “idealogical reasons”, because it’s ideological reasons that will prove to be his undoing. And about time!

  6. I cannot believe this! Thomas George promised before the last election that Gas mining would not occur in the Northern Rivers. Thomas only kept his seat because most of the Labor voters only voted ‘1’ for labor, so exhausting their preferences.
    So the member is there because of misrepresentation of his position & the complacent voters. I hope people remember that next time!
    In the meantime, I feel Thomas should follow the majority of his constituents & try to arrange a buy back for the PELs locally.
    As far as local feedback to the Government & Metgasco. I feel we should have another blockade & local action. Metgasco would have problems working if there was a slow moving traffic blockade for instance. We merely need to be more creative.

    Send the bludgers broke! The days of economical gas mining are drawing to a close. We only need to delay them until the economics send them broke anyway. (Recently some coal mines in the US were virtually given away due to the bad economics of coal mining. CSG is in the same boat.)

  7. I guess the winners in this debacle are going to be (in no particular order):
    1. The Police……think of the overtime each of the 900(?) odd police. Anecdote: My cousin paid lots off his mortgage when policing the “Miners Strike” in UK courtesy of Maggie Thatcher.

    2. Motel(s) in Lismore….. accommodating the 900(?) odd police;

    3. Thomas George who has, no doubt, secured his future:
    Am I right in understanding that squeaking in to parliament will now allow him to have a life pension, paid by us?

    4. Metga$gone… One thing for sure is that without the Police, armed with Tasers etc. would NEVER be drilling here.

    Our Grand Children………………

  8. I think the pressure has finally got to Thomas George – or maybe it is the recognition that his lies about buying back CSG licenses are coming home to roost. He seems to have completely lost the plot or his role as an elected representative of his electorate. Yep – I’d support a by election if there was anyway to do that.
    Come on Thomas – it was the people who elected you, not your sons employers. Stand by your promises, or face the electorate again – now, not next election.

  9. People who make decisions to prosper
    For money alone with no moral consideration for Mother Earth
    Will have to question themselves at their time
    Of leaving.


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