Lock the Gate Alliance says the announcement today by would-be Northern Rivers unconventional gas driller Metgasco that it is pulling out of negotiations with the Government to settle a dispute over its suspended drilling operation at Bentley and the future of its three Northern Rivers licences gives the Government’s the opportunity to resolve the matter in parliament and let Metgasco loose altogether.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers co-coordinator Dean Draper said, “No one is in any doubt that the Northern Rivers should be gasfield free forever. Metgasco are the only ones deluding themselves that it’s possible for unconventional gas to be mined anywhere in the region.
“Metgasco is trying to strong arm the Government, and hold our hold region to ransom: it’s not going to work because this region is united in opposition to this industry.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers co-coordinator Elly Bird said, “If Metgasco doesn’t want to conclude negotiations for a graceful exit from the Northern Rivers, then that’s all the cue Government needs to call their bluff, walk in to parliament next week, cancel the licences by act of parliament and protect the Northern Rivers forever through legislation.
“We have no doubt, the NSW Govt could walk into parliament next week and protect the Northern Rivers – every other political party in the State wants them to do so.
“The Government tried to negotiate, and has mucked around with voluntary buy-backs. This is their opportunity to make a bolder move: make the Northern Rivers gasfield free forever, cancel all the licences and give the community what it wants.”