Floodgates open to Coal Seam Gas in NSW – Government renews 22 exploration licences

Published: September 12, 2012

The O’Farrell Government yesterday opened the floodgates to coal seam gas mining in NSW with Minister for Resources Chris Hartcher moving to renew 22 coal seam gas exploration licences including many of the most controversial and hotly contested titles in NSW.

The full list of renewals is available here.

“Barry O’Farrell has let the Energy Minister off the leash and in one fell swoop he has opened the door to coal seam gas drilling across vast areas which include some of our most iconic landscapes,” said Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance.

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The gate stays locked after ‘appalling’ Strategic Regional Land Use Policy

Published: September 11, 2012

The Lock the Gate Alliance reacted to today’s announcement of the NSW government’s Strategic Regional Land Use Policy by saying that gates across the state would remain locked to coal and coal seam gas mining.

Lock the Gate Alliance President, Drew Hutton, said he felt very few, if any, of the more than 100 community action groups around the state would be unlocking their gates in the wake of the government’s announcement.

“This is an appalling policy and is nothing more than an invitation for high-impact, polluting activities to come on to almost any part of the state.

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Overwhelming majority rejects CSG in Lismore referendum

Published: September 09, 2012

Over 88 per cent of voters in the Lismore Council area have voted against having coal seam gas in an overwhelming rejection of the industry.

Voters were asked to respond to the question: “Do you support coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and production in the Lismore City Council area?” The response, after more than 15,000 votes were counted, was 11.93% in favour and 88.07% against.

Arrow and Metgasco are two of the main coal seam gas companies attempting to carry out activities in the Northern Rivers.

“This poll reflects the resounding results from surveys of 30 local communities in the area which have declared themselves CSG free and are preparing to defend their communities from CSG,” said Lock the Gate President Drew Hutton.

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Excessive Police Response Seeks to Criminalise Peaceful Protest

Published: September 06, 2012

Lock The Gate Alliance has this morning criticised the NSW Government for its excessive and heavy-handed response to peaceful protest against coal mining expansion in the Gunnedah Basin earlier this week.

Three peaceful protestors arrested this week at the Boggabri Coal Mine have been charged with an offence under s201 of the Crimes Act – hinder working of mining equipment – which carries a maximum gaol term of seven years.

“The excessive charges laid against peaceful protesters this week are clearly an attempt to intimidate rural communities who are concerned about the reckless expansion of mining in NSW,” said Carmel Flint, a regional co-ordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance.

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Opposition to Reckless Coal Expansion Escalates in NSW

Published: September 06, 2012

Community groups across NSW have stepped up action against reckless coal mining projects this week.

Six people have been arrested at four different protests against the rapid and uncontrolled expansion of coal mining in NSW.

On Monday two activists scaled the giant coal-crusher at the Boggabri mine in north-western New South Wales for 8 hours with a banner which read ‘Stop the Coal Rush:  Protect Health, Water, Climate’.

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