The cancellation of a CSG licence over Sydney is a win for community action. Now our water catchments need to be protected from CSG mining too.
Stop CSG Sydney has welcomed the news that the Baird government has decided to cancel the coal seam gas licence covering most of metropolitan Sydney – PEL 463.
“Widespread community organising has helped deliver this outcome. The cancellation of this licence will give a big boost of confidence to the campaign to protect land and water which has so far slowed the progress of CSG extraction in NSW”, said Pip Hinman, Stop CSG Sydney president.
PEL 463 was originally issued by the former ALP government, and renewed by the Coalition. It was due to expire in October. The licence area covers 189,000 hectares, spanning most of Sydney and its surrounds, from Gosford in the North, to Waterfall in the South, and past Blacktown in the West. Over 4 million people live in the affected area.
“Clearly, the Baird NSW government is feeling the pressure. Opposition to CSG is widespread across the state. It has splintered the Liberal-National Coalition’s base.
“The cancellation of PEL 463 is welcome – and not a moment too soon. But the community will not stop its work in protecting vital parts of NSW – such as the whole of the water catchment area, the Pilliga and Gloucester – all of which remain under threat.
“We are also concerned that the NSW government is ignoring residents in Camden, in south west Sydney who have to live with AGL’s CSG leaks, drilling under their houses and other threats from the industry”, said Ms Hinman.
“The campaign started in 2010 when residents discovered a CSG test drill was to take place in St Peters – metres from schools, parks and homes. The community got together, organised rallies, film nights, trivia night, a human sign in Sydney Park and much more,” said Louise Steer, Stop CSG Sydney’s public officer.
“The campaign to get the licence cancelled started in July 2014 when we found out Dart Energy was intending to sell the licence to a UK company IGas Inc. The NSW government approved this sale last October.
“Stop CSG Sydney believes that this cancellation is a victory for communities across the state. It should have been done long ago, and IGas doesn’t need $200,000 from the NSW state government as ‘compensation’ “, concluded Ms Steer.
For further comment contact:
Pip Hinman 0412-139-968
Lou Steer 0402-167-566