CSG miner should honour social contract and walk away

A CSG protester has called Metgasco boss Peter Henderson over his promise not to mine without a 'social licence'.
A CSG protester has called Metgasco boss Peter Henderson over his promise not to mine without a 'social licence'. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

CASINO-based coal seam gas company Metgasco has been called upon to "walk away" from its CSG production on the Northern Rivers because it had no "social licence" from the community to proceed.

Metgasco CEO and managing director Peter Henderson told ABC radio in May last year that the company needed a social licence to operate.

"We plan to be here for a long time and have a profitable industry, it's not in our self interest to do anything that causes a problem," he told the ABC. "We need the local community support if we're going to make this business work."

Speaking last week in the lead-up to Sunday's CSG-free declarations of 25 roads in the Kungala/Halfway Creek area, Lanitza woman Kylie Kellie said Mr Henderson should follow through with his comments and walk away from the area considering the overwhelming opposition to CSG.

Mr Henderson responded to the call saying the company's goal was to get 100% community support but this was not realistic.

"There are some who are ideologically opposed to the fossil fuel industry and development in general and will never support us," he said.

"We also know that there is more work to be done to address concerns in some parts of the community and communicate that our industry is safe and acceptable.

"Following detailed reviews the NSW Government has fully endorsed the industry. It has also introduced additional regulation as a means to provide the community with more confidence about the industry. NSW and Northern Rivers businesses, such as Richmond Dairies, need energy security, as well as the employment that we can create."

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