The Lock The Gate Alliance has welcomed today's news that coal seam gas (CSG) driller Dart Energy are suspending their operations in NSW.
Dart released a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning, blaming 'uncertainty created by recent NSW and Federal Government decisions' for its decision to suspend operations at Fullerton Cove, near Newcastle.
"This is a huge victory for the community of Fullerton Cove, and for Newcastle at large," said Steve Phillips, Hunter regional coordinator for Lock The Gate. "With Dart suspending their operations in this area, our precious drinking water is safe, for now, from coal seam gas."
"The people of Fullerton Cove have fought bravely to defend their community from a global gas company, and for now at least, they have won. Dart Energy were never welcome at Fullerton Cove. 97.5% of Cove residents voted to be CSG Free. When Dart tried to bring a drill rig in last August, the people of Fullerton Cove staged a courageous blockade lasting over a week."
"We call on Dart Energy to end the uncertainty for residents in the Lower Hunter, and relinquish their exploration lease."
This is the second CSG company in NSW to retreat in the face of mass community protest. Last month, Metgasco suspended operations in the Northern Rivers, after continuous blockades by residents.
"CSG companies have no social licence to operate in NSW," concluded Phillips.
"We call on AGL, Santos, and all other CSG companies to follow the example set by Metgasco and Dart, and suspend their operations."