Lock the Gate Alliance strongly commends Moree Plains Shire Council on its recently reaffirmed opposition to coal seam gas, and calls on the NSW Nationals to make good on the party’s recent move to wind up ‘zombie’ petroleum exploration licences.
‘Zombie’ licences are exploration licences which are still technically active despite expiring. They cover 56,000 square kilometres of NSW, mostly in the north-west, and include titles held by Comet Ridge in the Moree area.
North west NSW farmer Margaret Fleck said with companies like Comet Ridge seemingly eager to revisit its petroleum titles in the region, it was time for the NSW Nationals to put an end to the uncertainty surrounding the licences.
“For too long, farmers in the North West whose land is covered by coal seam gas exploration licences have been unable to properly plan for the future due to these exploration licences hanging over their heads,” she said.
“The Nationals are part of the government, the party has passed this motion to wind up the zombie licences, so affected farmers are expecting it to be done.
“The drought is ravaging much of country NSW, yet gas companies like Comet Ridge remain eager to invade fertile farming country with water intensive CSG operations, despite overwhelming community opposition.
“We call on Deputy Premier John Barilaro and his fellow Nationals MPs to enact the party’s pledge to slay these zombie titles and put to ease the concerns of many farmers throughout the north west.”