Metgasco suspends operations due to community opposition: crunch time for coal seam gas

Published: March 13, 2013

Today's announcement by coal seam gas company Metgacso that it was suspending its operations in northern New South Wales is a recognition that the Northern Rivers community would not give it a social licence.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said Metgasco was simply recognising that every time it attempted to set up new infrastructure it would be blockaded.

"A simple example of this opposition is that a de facto blockade of Metgasco's drill site at Doubtful Creek, near Kyogle, by to 80 locals has been in existence for the last month, to such an extent that they cannot even get the rig out now that the drilling has finished," Mr Hutton said.

"Metgasco will be the first of the dominos. Many communities have spoken, they don't want coal seam gas and they will oppose it using non-violent action.

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Massive victory for communities as Metgasco suspends operations in the Northern Rivers

Published: March 13, 2013

Northern Rivers communities are celebrating the news today that Metgasco have indefinitely suspended all their coal seam gas operations in the Northern Rivers. The Lock the Gate Alliance says that this is a huge vindication of the efforts of thousands of people across the region to protect their land, water and communities from the threat of CSG.

“Whilst the company may blame regulatory uncertainty for their decision, the fact is that their operations have faced massive opposition from communities across the region,” said Boudicca Cerese, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Northern Rivers.

“In the past two years we have seen the growth of an unprecedented social movement made up of people from across the political spectrum who are totally opposed to the industrialisation of our beautiful region for coal seam gas mining.”

“We have seen all sorts of innovative and creative actions from community members ranging from the development of the grass roots gas field free community surveys to the formation of community action groups like the wonderful Knitting Nannas Against Gas.”

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Water Trigger A Step Forward on Long Road to Coal and Gas Reform

Published: March 12, 2013

Lock the Gate Alliance has described the changes to Federal environment laws announced by Minister Tony Burke this morning as a step forward on a long road to genuine law reform to control inappropriate coal and gas mining across Australia.

Last week, the Alliance launched a national reform agenda, 'Call to Country', which included 8 actions that the Federal Government can take to protect communities and the environment from inappropriate mining. The inclusion of a water trigger was a minor component of that plan.

"This reform today is a step forward on a long road to genuine reform of coal and gas mining laws in Australia.  It has only been achieved because of the determination of people all around Australia to protect our priceless water resources," said Carmel Flint, Campaign Co-ordinator for Lock the Gate Alliance.

"We congratulate all the members of parliament who have taken heed of the extraordinary and far-reaching community concern on this issue.

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Commonwealth expert scientific committee slams Arrow CSG project

Published: March 11, 2013

A Federal Government independent panel has slammed a multi-billion dollar coal seam gas proposal in Queensland.

The Independent Scientific Expert Committee (IESC), set up by the Federal Government to advise on the water impacts of resource projects, has delivered a stinging critique of the Arrow coal seam gas project in Queensland.

Arrow is owned jointly by Shell and PetroChina.

Some of the key conclusions reached by the Committee in its advice on the draft Arrow Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were that:

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Internal Government Documents Show NSW CSG Industry Floundering

Published: March 08, 2013

Documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal extraordinary opposition to coal seam gas in rural NSW which is impeding the industry, and should send a warning signal to investors everywhere, according to Lock The Gate Alliance.

The documents include draft instruments of renewal for controversial coal seam gas exploration licences, and correspondence between gas companies and governments on those renewals.

The documents show that the NSW Government plans to renew most licences across 100% of the original area, waiving a mandatory requirement that licences are reduced by 25% on renewal.

The departmental unit considering renewals, Petroleum Geoscience, is on the record in the documents admitting the impediments to the industry are substantial. For example, it states that: 

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Content on this site is authorised by Georgina Woods for Lock the Gate Alliance, Lismore NSW.