LETTER: Promise of gasfield free region nothing of the sort

LETTER: Draft suggests promise of 'gasfield free' is nothing of the sort

THE Baird Government is to be congratulated for its $25 million purchase of the Metgasco licences in the Clarence Moreton Basin within the Northern Rivers.

The NSW Government and the Northern Rivers state members have claimed the buy-back of CSG licences has delivered on their promise of a "Gasfield Free" Northern Rivers, but the recently released draft Regional Plan suggests nothing of the sort.

The Government's Draft North Coast Regional Plan reveals that North Coast CSG reserves are currently being considered as potential energy resources.

The Plan states that the NSW Department of Industry is mapping coal and coal seam gas resources in the region in order to "inform future regional and local planning by providing updated information on the location of resources. The report also states this information "can support expansion of the sector."

The people of the Northern Rivers have resoundingly rejected the development of gasfields in our region. Over 95% of 33,670 people surveyed said 'No' to gas and 147 communities have declared themselves 'Gasfield Free'.

The Regional Plan makes it clear that CSG development is alive despite the buyback of CSG licences from the Queensland border to Grafton. There is nothing to prevent these licences being re-issued and it is now evident that this is exactly what the NSW government is planning.

The people of the Northern Rivers must have security from the threat of CSG. We request that the Baird government:

  • Remove all references to CSG from the Final Report.
  • Introduce legislation to permanently protect the Northern Rivers and all of the North Coast Region from invasive industrial gasfields.

We ask all concerned citizens to:

  • Refer to Draft North Coast Regional Plan www.planning.nsw.gov.au\ NorthCoast or obtain a copy from your local MP's office.
  • Contact the Minister for Planning, the Hon Rob Stokes, GPO Box 5341, Sydney 2001, phone 02 8574 6707 or email his office: www.nsw.gov.au/ ministercontactform/ contact-minister-planning.
  • Send a submission before closing date 2nd of June, 2016.

Ross Joseph, Gasfield Free Northern Rivers

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