Gasfield Free Northern Rivers and Bentley landholders have today commended the NSW government for its decision to uphold the suspension of Metgasco’s coal seam gas exploration licence over the Bentley and Casino area. The licence was suspended on 15 May due to ‘inadequate consultation’ after sustained and overwhelming community opposition which culminated in the historic Bentley Blockade.
“We thank the government for listening to the people of Bentley and the Northern Rivers and upholding Metgasco’s licence suspension,” said Bentley landholder Rosemary Joseph.
“Industrialised gas fields have no place in our valley or the region as a whole. The Northern Rivers is known for its beautiful and productive farmland, and is a worldwide tourism destination that should be protected from invasive gasfields for perpetuity.”
“Our community is greatly relieved that will not have to face another drilling attempt from Metgasco and the huge police presence it would require anytime soon.”
“However, while a licence is still in place we will live with the threat of the drilling hanging over us and are urging the government to take the next step and cancel Metgasco’s licence outright,” she concluded.
“The Northern Rivers community commends the government for making this common sense and correct decision to uphold the suspension of Metgasco’s gas mining licence,” said Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesperson, Ian Gaillard.
“Metgasco’s community consultation was clearly inadequate and this is a vindication of what the community has been saying for years about this industry.”
“While we are grateful that the government has allowed this community a reprieve, people remain overwhelmingly opposed to any gasfield industrialisation of the Northern Rivers, and will not have certainty until Metgasco’s gas licence is cancelled.”
“We have provided substantial and damning evidence to the government evidencing Metgasco’s failed community consultation, and maintain that there are sufficient grounds for them to cancel the company’s licence,” concluded Mr Gaillard.