The latest victim of landowner resistance to coal seam gas is Planet Gas which has announced its withdrawal from coal seam gas activities in the state under farm-in agreements with Leichhardt Resources.
Planet Gas had tenements at Bylong, Shoalhaven and the north-west of NSW.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said this was one more victory for the Lock the Gate movement which had already seen off Metgasco from the Northern Rivers and Dart from the Newcastle area.
"I would like to congratulate Penny Blatchford and the whole Bellata-Gurley area which voted 100 per cent against having coal seam gas," Mr Hutton said.
Landholders at Bellata, Gurley & Terry Hie Hie fighting against the renewal of coal seam gas licence PEL470 are celebrating tonight as news filters through that the farminee agreement between Leichhardt Resources Pty Ltd and Planet Gas Limited has ended.
Planet Gas Limited announced to the ASX this afternoon that they were pulling out in its entirety of NSW.
"Planet Gas and Leichhardt have agreed the exit from each farm-in agreement and Planet Gas will retain no residual interest or liability," said the Planet Gas Limited letter to ASX on 14.05.13.
100% of landholders in 2012 in PEL470 signed declarations and stood together to oppose the renewal and for no further licence to be issued over the lands by the NSW Liberal National Government.
Minister Hartcher – Resources and Energy renewed the licence February 8th 2013.
Chair of Bellata Gurley Action Group Against Gas Inc Mrs Penny Blatchford says "the area of Bellata and Gurley is renowned for its highly productive soils and strategic value to agriculture to the state and Australia."
Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to deliver 'real action' to protect farmland from mining after he back-flipped last week on statements saying that farmers should have a right to say no.
On breakfast radio last week, Abbott said, “Miners should not go on to farms if they are not wanted … It’s very wrong and they shouldn't be going on to land where the relevant land owners don’t want them, and it’s as simple as that.” However, he later tried to pass the issue off to the states, suggesting that it was not a Federal issue.
Lock the Gate Alliance has described the back-flip as very poor form and has asked Abbott to deliver on his statements by introducing a Bill into Federal Parliament when it resumes next week to protect farmland from invasive mining.
"We're asking Tony Abbott to stop playing politics with this issue and to deliver some real action. Last week he tried to pass all responsibility for action off on to state governments, but in this case, the buck stops with him,” said Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance.
Federal Coalition leader Tony Abbott made clear on radio this morning that a federal Coalition government would support a landowner's right to say no to mining on their land.
This laid out a very clear challenge for state premiers in Queensland and New South Wales to bring legislation to their parliaments giving landowners the right to say no to mining companies demanding access to their land.
Speaking on Alan Jones' 2GB radio program this morning, Mr Abbott made an unequivocal commitment, on behalf of the Coalition, to support landowners' right to say no.
At present, landowners in both states are obliged to negotiate terms of access to mining companies and, if they refuse, could be taken to court and fined, in Queensland's case up to $50,000.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said this inequitable situation was intolerable and needed to be set right immediately.