Gasfield Free Northern Rivers says today’s court win by unconventional gas driller Metgasco against a State Government decision to suspend their drilling licence after it was revealed they breached community consultation requirements highlights the urgent need for legislative reform to protect the public.
The Supreme Court has today found in favour of Metgasco's challenge of the suspension of their drilling licence at Bentley.
The Minister for Mining and Energy, Anthony Roberts, suspended the licence last year during a blockade that saw thousands of people from the area turn Metgasco’s drilling equipment away.
“This is a disappointing outcome because if Metgasco are successful in their demand for compensation, more public money is going to be thrown at a dangerous and unpopular industry," said Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Regional Coordinator Dean Draper.
"This mess is a result of the Government’s failure to act decisively to create a watertight legislative means to cancel the Northern Rivers unconventional gas licences. There is now an urgent need for new legislation to enable the Government to cancel mining titles on public interest grounds, without compensation, and to make the Northern Rivers permanently gasfield free, as the community wants.
"The people of the Northern Rivers have overwhelmingly demanded full cancellation of all gas licences in our region. We have declared ourselves gasfield free by direct community democracy. We shouldn’t have to blockade to protect the region: the Government just needs to do their job and represent the people.
"The Northern Rivers community demands legislative reform to enable the cancellation of gas licences across the region. The least the state government can do is act in good faith with the will of the people, and make the Northern Rivers permanently gasfield free,” he said.