The Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed the announcement this morning that a controversial unconventional gas drilling approval in the Northern Rivers region has been suspended, and the company, Metgasco, referred to the ICAC.
Lock the Gate President, Drew Hutton said, “Plans to drill for gas at Bentley, near Lismore, have galvanised the community and brought people together from across the region in an unprecedented blockade to protect the region from invasive gasfields. We offer our warm and heartfelt congratulations to the people of the Northern Rivers for this incredible people’s victory.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Coordinator Ian Gaillard said, "It is heartening to see the NSW Government responding to community concerns about corruption and abuse of process by this company, and we thank Minister Roberts for his action.
"The blockade at Bentley sprang up in response to abject failure of the regulatory system to protect land and water from mining, and put the public interest first.
Drew Hutton concluded, "We hope that the State Government heeds the lesson from the Northern Rivers and embarks on root and branch reform of coal and gas regulation. This means no-go zones to protect communities, rivers, groundwater, farmland and forests and regulatory reform to restore balance in regional NSW."
For pictures of the Bentley blockade visit the Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Flickr page here.