All posts by Stop CSG Sydney Elle



Media Release September 26, 2014


Stop Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Sydney welcomes the NSW government’s decision to continue its freeze on new coal seam gas (CSG) exploration licence applications.

In March, NSW Energy and Resources Minister Anthony Roberts announced the freeze, due to end today (September 26).
Today’s decision means the freeze will now remain in place for another year. However, this freeze doesn’t mean that existing licences are frozen. It means existing applications and licences remain in place, including PEL 463 which covers most of metropolitan Sydney.

Sandra Thomson from Stop CSG Sydney commented: “The freeze on new licences is important. But it doesn’t resolve the fact that the licence covering the Sydney basin, home to over 4 million people, is still ‘live’ and can be activated at any time”.

“The Sydney licence holder, Dart Energy Limited, an Australian company, announced on Tuesday that it had been granted NSW Ministerial approval for a change in control of the licence. This paves the way for IGas Energy plc, a company from the United Kingdom, to acquire Dart Energy.  Why has the Minister approved the transfer of this licence to an offshore company, while at the same time, freezing new licences. This was the Minister’s chance to cancel the licence over Sydney”.

“Existing licences are not frozen, so communities remain at risk. The licence blanketing metropolitan Sydney came with an obligation to drill. The community stopped a potential drill site in St Peters in 2011. Communities is Sydney and across NSW have made it clear they don’t want CSG drilling, and neither do they want a licence hanging over their heads”.

“CSG mining involves unearthing water that is high in salt and methane, and can contain toxic and radioactive compounds and heavy metals”, she continued.  “CSG drilling in the Pilliga poisoned an aquifer with uranium.  A freeze on all CSG licences is needed to investigate CSG so we can know if or under what conditions it is safe. A ban on CSG in drinking water catchments is needed”.

“While the campaign to protect our drinking water has ensured a freeze on CSG development in our catchment, it is temporary. A precautionary approach and protection of our drinking water is just common sense.”
Media enquiries:
Sandy Thompson 0403 195 627
Pip Hinman 0412 139 968



Stop CSG Sydney is screening a short video, made in May, by some of the key organisers of the successful Bentley Blockade (near Lismore).

It looks at how the Bentley Blockade grew to be so potent, and pivotal to the success of the Gasfield Free Northern Rivers campaign to stop Metgasco.

It covers why the NSW government was then, and is now, so determined to override the wishes of the vast majority of the residents of the Northern Rivers? How did the community become so organised?  Why did they have so much support?

We believe there are some important lessons that can be learned from studying other community campaigns against CSG.

Stop CSG Sydney will also be holding its AGM on this day.

Please join us from 3pm-5pm Sunday, 28th September 2014 at Seaview Hall,  12-14 Seaview St, Dulwich Hill.

Afternoon tea will be provided.

All welcome!



Stop CSG Sydney will be holding two stalls this weekend, at two of Sydney’s great community fairs;


Sunday 14th September – 10am to 4pm - Marrickville Rd, Dulwich Hill

The Dulwich Hill Village Fair celebrates the delights of the Dulwich Hill village with live entertainment, children’s activities and a huge mix of market stalls including handicrafts, home wares, children’s toys and clothing and homemade preserves and sweets as well as a host of local foods including cakes, pastries, coffee, cheese and deli items and family favourites such as roast chicken.


For more information visit;


Sunday 14th September – 10.30am to 3.30pm
Randwick Community Centre – 27 Munda St, Randwick


The Randwick City Council’s tenth Eco-living Fair is a free event that provides the perfect opportunity for the community to come together to learn about the benefits of living a sustainable lifestyle.

Now firmly established on the calendar, it is fair to say the Eco-Living Fair is the premiere green event of the east.

Held in the unique setting of the Randwick Community Centre, surrounded by the Randwick Environment Park, the Eco-Living Fair has something for the whole family to enjoy with advice and information on offer from local community groups and green industry experts, delicious healthy food, free entertainment and kids activities and a variety of market stalls selling quality wares.

Many local partner organisations attend to provide information and conduct formal and informal talks and workshops based on the environmental issues that affect our community in their homes, at school and in the workplace.

For more information please go to Eco-Living Fair


MEDIA RELEASE August 24, 2014

Residents say Cancel the licence

Residents across the vast licence (PEL 463) will be holding a protest on Monday September 1 to highlight their concern that a vast amount of metropolitan Sydney remains under risk of drilling for coal seam gas (CSG).

Residents from St Peters, Cronulla and Blacktown will ask the NSW government to cancel PEL 463.

Residents will be meeting at 9am in St Peters  and Cronulla to illustrate the extent of the licence and to tell the NSW government it must cancel the CSG licence covering metropolitan Sydney on Monday September 1.

PEL 463 (see map below) was granted by a Labor state government in 2008 and renewed by the Coalition until 2015. More than 4 million people live in this area.


“The gas licence covering St Peters and most of Sydney must be cancelled”, said Pip Hinman, from Stop CSG Sydney.

“The company holding the licence – Dart Energy – is being bought by the UK-based gas giant IGas Energy which has stated that it wants to sell off its non-UK assets.

“This means that PEL 463 can remain ‘live’ and be sold on to another unconventional gas company at a later date. This is not an option for the community .

“We stopped a test drill at St Peter’s in 2012 just metres from schools, parks and homes. We w a nt to end the uncertainty and get the licence extinguished”, said Ms Hinman .

“The NSW government’s decisions to establish CSG exclusion zones is a welcome step. But they do not go far enough”, said Melinda Wilson from CSG Free Western Sydney.

“Under the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991, the Energy and Resources Minister can cancel licences on a variety of grounds. They include: failure to meet licence conditions, including drilling within a specified time, financial standing and ability to comply with regulations. Dart has failed to meet the conditions of its licence.

“Communities do not want fracking near our homes or in our water catchments. We have seen and experienced the damage. We do not want this licence to be on-sold to  a company AGL which has a licence nearby in Camden and is keen to expand”, said Ms Wilson.

Residents will meet at the corner of Campbell and Euston Roads in St Peters  and at the end of Kingsway in Cronulla on Monday September 1 at 9-10am (to coincide with Dart’s AGM in Brisbane).


Media inquiries: 

Pip Hinman, Stop CSG Sydney  0412 139 968

Melinda   Wilson : CSG Free Western Sydney (02) 9622 4820

Colin Ryan: Stop CSG Sutherland 0448 689 565

Footprints Film Festival to show “Our Land Our Water” music video

12449_Footprints Eco Festival 2014_Postcard 150x105_Screen V2

This is the second year in a row that Stop CSG Sydney member, Bernadette Smith has had her film selected for the Footprints Film Festival.  Her music video titled “Our Land Our Water” will kick off a string of films which are showing as part of the 2014 Ecofestival in Leichhardt, this Sunday 24th in Whites Creek Valley Park.

The video clip was made with help from Eora College students using the song “Our Land, Our Water, Our Future” written, performed and produced by Dexter Moore, as an anthem against Coal Seam Gas. There is footage of anti CSG protests and areas endangered by coal and CSG mining in the Hunter Valley and the Pilliga State Forest.

Stop CSG Sydney will also be running a stall at the Eco Festival from 11am till 3pm.  Make sure you stop in to say hi & sign our latest petitions! Find more event details here;


Bernadette Smith is an artist, writer, photographer and experimental filmmaker now based in Sydney.  In 2010 she was Vice President of Octapod, a not for profit independent arts and new media organisation.  And was part of the media team for This Is Not Art Festival in Newcastle. More recently her films were selected for the Cinco de Mayo Cinepobre film festival in Mexico, the Novembrism Underground Music Video Festival in Sydney and the 2013 Footprints Eco Film Festival.  Bernadette Smith is also the official  photographer  for  Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney and is an occasional  writer  for the Guardian  and other progressive  journals.




Upcoming stalls!


We have some fabulous festivals & fairs coming up in the next few weeks. Come along to support Stop CSG Sydney, bring your friends and have some fun!

You can also volunteer with Stop CSG at our information stalls. It’s a great opportunity to meet others and learn about coal seam gas mining. If you’re doing this for the first time, have no fear because we’ll roster you for just two to three hours with someone more experienced !

Stalls are being held at:

Dulwich Hill Village Fair
Sun 14 Sep, 10am – 4pm
Marrickville Road & Seaview Street, Dulwich Hill
Volunteer shifts 10am – 1pm, 1pm – 4pm

Eco-Living Fair
Sun 14 Sep, 10am – 3.30pm
Randwick Community Centre, 27 Munda Street, Randwick
Volunteer shifts 10am – 1pm, 1pm – 3.30pm

If you’d like more information or to help email Jenny Seymour or ring me on 0422 005 744.

MEDIA RELEASE: August 6, 2014

18.9.11 Anti csg march

Stop CSG Sydney is still to receive a response from Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts requesting he cancel PEL 463 – the coal seam gas (CSG) licence that covers the Sydney basin.*

Stop CSG Sydney is a community group campaigning against coal seam gas exploration and drilling. It formed to oppose a test drill site in St Peters, discovered by accident at the end of 2011.

Since then, it has organised community petitions, marches, film screenings and motions to council opposing CSG in the inner west and beyond. The new CSG regulations, bought in by the NSW government, prohibit CSG drilling closer than 2 kilometres from urban areas.

When Stop CSG Sydney found out that the licence covering most of Sydney was about to be transferred to UK-based company IGas Energy Plc as part of its buy out of Dart energy, it launched its “Cancel the Licence” campaign.

“We know that IGas Energy has publicly stated it wants to divest all non-UK assets of Dart at a time when it is ‘commercially attractive’ to do so, and ‘with a view to maximising cash returns’”, said Sandra Thompson, spokesperson for Stop CSG Sydney.

“We have confirmed that Dart Energy – which owns PEL 463 via its subsidiary Macquarie Energy – is urging its shareholder to vote in favour of the sale,

“We have also confirmed that IGas received Foreign Investment Review Board approval on July 30 for the sale to take place. That means that the federal government has approved the sale”, Ms Thompson said.

Pip Hinman, another spokesperson, said: “However, we know that the community in urban Sydney doesn’t want CSG. Dart was pressured out of undertaking its test drill in St Peters because of community pressure.

“We have written to the minister, urging him to prevent the sale of PEL 463 to IGas Energy and cancel the licence for good.

“Where’s the logic in allowing the sale to go ahead when communities do not want CSG, the licence covers mainly urban Sydney, and the NSW regulations on CSG prevent drilling from happening?”, asked Ms Hinman.

Media comment:
Sandy Thompson, Stop CSG Sydney President 0403 195 627
Pip Hinman, Stop CSG Sydney, Vice President 0412 139 968


* Below is a copy of the letter ?Stop CSG Sydney sent to the Minister.


The Hon. Anthony Roberts, MP
Minister for Resources and Energy
Level 37 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place

Dear Mr Roberts

Transfer of licence Petroleum Export Licence 463

Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney Inc is a non-partisan group of citizens who are concerned about the rapid expansion of unconventional gas extraction.

We are not anti-mining, but we believe that until the method of extracting coal seam gas has been scientifically assessed and proven to be safe,the industry should not be given licences to frack – in urban or rural NSW.

The pollution and health problems generated from CSG fields in Queensland are cause enough for communities across NSW to be extremely cautious. Until the industry has been proven to be safe for our health, land and water we do not believe it should be given licences for test drilling and more.

As you are aware, the Petroleum Exploration Licence 463 (the licence), currently held by Macquarie Energy Pty Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Dart Energy Limited, covers the greater part of the Sydney basin, home to some 4 million people.

On May 9, 2014 Dart Announced that it is in the process of being acquired by the UK-based company IGas Energy Plc, with a clearly stated intention to divest all non-UK assets of Dart. The transfer of Dart’s exploration licences to IGas fails to serve the public interest.

Minister Roberts, as per the petroleum exploration licence conditions relating to PEL 463, your written approval is required prior to ‘any change in the effective control of the licence holder’ or ‘any foreign acquisition of substantial control in the licence holder’.[1]

Stop CSG Sydney strongly urges you to deny approval. This is a valuable opportunity for the NSW Government to align the status of the licence with your current policy on coal seam gas exclusion zones[2]that does not allow coal seam gas drilling within 2 kilometres of residential areas.

Stop CSG Sydney and concerned community members are requesting that you do not allow the transfer of the licence that covers an area of 2.400 square kilometres, covers the City of Sydney and extends from the northern part of Illawarra to the southern Newcastle coalfields.

Further, we ask that you use this opportunity to cancel the licence that was issued without any consultation with the people living under this licence.

Finally, we request a meeting with you to discuss these matters further. Sandra Thompson can be contacted by email at or by phone on 0403 195 627.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Sandra Thompson Ms Pip Hinman
President Vice President

on behalf of Stop CSG Sydney Inc
Please provide an acknowledgment of receipt of this letter.

[1]Clause 45 and 46, Second Schedule Petroleum Exploration Licence Conditions 2012.

[2]Coal seam gas exclusion zones




Come and hear Aidan Ricketts, author of The Activists Handbook and spokesperson for Gasfield Free Northern Rivers, speak about the community struggle against Metgasco at Bentley (near Lismore).


Join a Q&A about the sort of strategy that forced the government to suspend Metgasco’s operations at Bentley and find out about Gasfield Free Northern Rivers‘ campaign to cancel the licence.

Friday July 25,  6.30 – 8.30pm
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Bedford St, Newtown
(opposite Newtown Station)

Entry $10 / $5 concession.
RSVP & share the Facebook event here!

Organised by Stop CSG Sydney Inc.

REMINDER: This meeting will replace the usual General Meeting held on the last Sunday of the month. Therefore there will be no meeting at Dulwich Hill on Sunday 27th July.

It’s time to renew your membership!


It’s been a big year of wins for Stop CSG communities around NSW already. And we could not have contributed to the success without your support, so thank you!

It is time to renew your membership with Stop CSG Sydney for the 2014-15 financial year. Membership is now available for $20 / $10 (concession). Your continued support will help make future campaigns – including cancelling the licence covering the Sydney basin – a reality.

You can deposit $20 or $10 (concession) into our bank account at BSB – 032067 Account No – 461 844 with a reference “YOUR NAME – MEMBER”. Don’t forget to send an email with your full name, address and postcode to with “Membership” in the subject line.

You can also pay by cash in person at our next meeting on Friday July 25 or at our next market stall in Paddington.  Your membership entitles you to also collect a membership pack which includes a “Stop CSG” medium sized yellow triangle, a badge and stickers next time we see you. If you have any questions about the membership renewal process, please contact us via return email.

A note for your diary: Stop CSG Sydney’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday, 28th September 2014 at the Seaview Community Hall, Dulwich Hill.

Volunteer with Stop CSG Sydney at Paddington Markets


If you’re volunteering for the first time, have no fear because we’ll roster you for just two to three hours with someone more experienced!

Our next stall is at Paddington Markets, 395 Oxford St, Paddington on Sat August 2, 9am – 3pm
Volunteer shifts 9-11am, 11am-1pm, 1-3pm or longer if you prefer!

If you’d like more information or to help, email Jenny Seymour or ring me on 0422 005 744.