Lock the Gate Alliance has this morning welcomed news that applications by Grainger Energy to explore for coal seam gas in the Riverina region near Hay, Deniliquin and Narrandera have been rejected by the State Government, and called for all other pending applications to be similarly rejected.
NSW Coordinator, Georgina Woods said, "This is good news for the communities of the Riverina, who have responded with courage and character to the threat of coal seam gas exploration. We congratulate Wagga Wagga Council, and all the communities that have organised themselves to lock their gates to CSG.
"But this decision today only affects a small part of the state, and there are pending applications to explore for CSG by other companies all around NSW.
"Other communities under threat from new CSG applications include Deniliquin, areas around Coolah, Dubbo and Collarenebri in the North West, Lithgow and other areas around the Blue Mountains, and Coraki and the Clarence River floodplain in the Northern Rivers.
"The people of NSW are looking for more far-reaching action on CSG, and a moratorium on any further CSG licences or exploratory drilling and the creation of firm exclusions zones for farmland, water resources and important natural areas is needed.
"This is particularly urgent in light of the recent case of groundwater contamination as a result of CSG activities in the Pilliga forest, in north-west NSW.
"The comments by the member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli, this morning referring to a 'freeze' on new applications have not been echoed by the Minister for Resources and Energy, and clarification is urgently needed as to what Mr Piccoli meant" she said.