Editorial - Friday, May 16: Time for rethink on CSG
THE decision by NSW Energy Minister Anthony Roberts to suspend Metgasco's exploration licence at Bentley, near Lismore, should be the final straw for the industry in New South Wales, for the time being at least.
Coming on top of the ICAC investigation into the affairs of former NSW resources minister Chris Hartcher, who renewed Metgasco's exploration licence last year, and reports of groundwater contamination at the Santos CSG mine at Pilliga Forest earlier this year, it is clear there needs to be a time out on any further CSG operations.
The State Government needs to take stock, ICAC investigations need to take their course, and only then a careful process of investigating if the CSG industry has any future in NSW will be able to take place without clouds of suspicion.
Some people will never accept it as an appropriate industry for this state. Others see it as an important source of energy and income for the future.
In the current climate, however, there is no hope of reaching a decision that will at least be respected by both sides of the debate.