"We are very pleased that the government has taken this important step and reduced the number of licences covering the Northern Rivers. PEL 445 covers a large area from the border right down to the Clarence and those communities can now rest easy that they are no longer under licence,” Said Elly Bird, Regional Coordinator for Gasfield Free Northern Rivers.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Thomas George and Anthony Roberts for their efforts and for delivering on the election commitment to purchase this PEL.
"All eyes should now turn to the remaining licences held by Metgasco. As the Premier himself has pointed out on ABC radio, 'Metgasco has no social contract to drill in the Northern Rivers.'
"While the buy back of PEL 445 is very welcome the reality is that it's Metgasco's licence areas that are the real threat. The final stage in delivering a Gasfield Free Northern Rivers is to deal with Metgasco once and for all.
"With Metgasco's recent announcement that they plan to undertake Seismic acquisition within the month and that they are planning to return to Bentley, the Government needs to act urgently to prevent this activity taking place.
"The communities of Rock Valley, Bentley and surrounds are very ready to take action to protect their land, water and future from invasive gas fields," she said.