The recent announcement by the NSW Government that they are reviewing the legislation that gives coal seam gas companies a 5 year royalty free period and sees them not paying the full royalty payments until the tenth year of production is cautiously welcomed by Lock the Gate Alliance as a step in the right direction, but long overdue.
Jacinta Green, Vice President of Lock the Gate Alliance says, "The royalty free holiday has always been one of many concerns we have had about the legislation and regulation around this industry. We are pleased that the NSW Government is starting to take our concerns seriously".
"We assume that this means that the NSW Government has finally noticed inconsistencies between the claimed economic benefit by the coal seam gas industry and reality."Read more
Tough restrictions on wind farms announced by the New South Wales government should also apply to coal seam gas and coal.
The restrictions announced by NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard give a veto to anyone living within a 2 kilometre radius of a proposed wind farm.
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said it was illogical to apply these restrictions to wind farms when the environmental and health impacts of coal mining and coal seam gas extraction were, potentially, so much greater.Read more
The report by the US Environmental Protection Agency linking the practice of hydraulic fracturing (or 'fracking') will send shivers through the Australian coal seam gas industry.
The EPA found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath a Wyoming community where residents say their well water smells of chemicals.
Fracking involves pumping millions of litres of water and sand and thousands of litres of chemicals under very high pressures into the coal seam in order to better release the gas trapped in that seam.Read more
A spontaneous blockade has been imposed on coal seam gas company AGL outside the Hunter Valley town of Gloucester.
Local residents, alarmed at the entry of trucks carrying heavy equipment onto a local property where a coal seam gas rig was expected in the near future, scrambled to blockade the trucks.
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said local community groups opposed to coal seam gas development in the Gloucester Valley were mounting the blockade.Read more
The decision by coal mining company NuCoal to abandon plans to mine on the property of blind Hunter Valley farmer, Ian Moore, is the first major victory for the Lock the Gate campaign.
Mr Moore had locked his gate on the company Doyles Creeks Mining which was later purchased by NuCoal. The company then took Mr Moore to a government-appointed arbitrator who upheld the company's right to drill on the property.
Mr Moore then appealed to the Land and Environment Court which imposed much tougher restrictions on NuCoal but still upheld their right to enter the property.Read more