Marrickville Council has voted unanimously to adopt an amended motion proposed by Stop CSG Sydney, to formally request the Minister for Resources & Industry to (a) revoke the Dart Energy licence for CSG exploration at the Dial-a-Dump site in St Peters / Alexandria land fill, and (b) to ban CSG mining within 100km of water catchment areas.
Stop CSG proposed these amendments to the Mayor’s motion of thanks to the Minister, following the Mayor’s recent attendance at a briefing from the NSW Government Office of Coal Seam Gas.
On 16 May 2013 Mayors and General Managers from NSW Councils, including Marrickville Mayor, Cr Victor Macri, attended a forum hosted by the NSW Government Office of Coal Seam Gas to be briefed by the government agencies which regulate the CSG industry. The opening address was by the Hon. Chris Hartcher MP Minister for Resources and Energy. The briefing focussed on the regulatory regime that governs the exploration and production in NSW. The NSW Government announced on 19 February 2013 some additional measures to regulate the industry. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is now the agency responsible for compliance and enforcement of environmental and health-related regulations of CSG activities and an Environment Protection Licence will be required for all CSG activities.
The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer has been asked to conduct an independent review of all CSG activities across the State, including the potential impact on water catchments and the Office of Coal Seam Gas has been established to administer licences and regulate non-environmental issues, such as occupational health and safety of the industry. The first draft of this report is due in July 2013.
The Acting General Manager for Marrickville Council asked the panel to confirm that the two kilometre exclusion zone that will be imposed around residential zone to prevent new CSG exploration, assessment and production activities would apply to Marrickville. This was confirmed by the panel.
Marrickville Council meeting 21 May 2013
The Mayor proposed a motion thanking the Minister for Resources for the presentation. Stop CSG Sydney proposed amendments to that motion. Stop CSG Sydney is concerned that Dart Energy’s licence over Alexandria Landfill site in St Peters still remains in place 12 months after the Council imposed a condition on Alexandria Landfill’s DA prohibiting CSG mining on the site, and also that the 2 kilometre exclusion zone is grossly inadequate to protect Sydney’s water supply from pollution by CSG mining.
Adrienne Shilling and Louise Steer spoke to the amendments proposed by Stop CSG Sydney. Sandy Thompson, Zara Thompson, Brian Martin and Petra Liverani all attended to show support.
Stop CSG Sydney reminded the Council of the Council’s history of opposition to CSG in Marrickville LGA. The Mayor, having attended the NSW government presentation to LGA reps on CSG, was under the impression that the 2 kilometre exclusion zone was retroactive. Cr Leary pointed out that it only applies to new licences and Dart could still commence drilling in St Peters.
Cr David Leary moved the amendments proposed by Stop CSG Sydney to the Mayor’s motion and the Council approved it unanimously, as follows :
MOTION: THAT Council:
1. receive and note the Mayoral Minute; and
2. write to the Hon Chris Hartcher MP, Minister for Resources and Energy, thanking him for facilitating the presentation on Coal Seam Gas.
3. (a) Request the NSW government to revoke the Dart Energy licence which still applies to the Alexandria Landfill site at St Peters, given that the Council has prohibited coal seam gas mining in the development application conditions for that site; and
(b) Request the NSW government to expressly prohibit coal seam gas mining, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) or horizontal drilling within 100 kilometres of all Sydney water catchment areas as these supply residents in all LGAs including Marrickville.