MEDIA RELEASE; October 14, 2014
Stop CSG Sydney President Pip Hinman has welcomed Marrickville Council’s decision at its meeting tonight to support the campaign to extinguish the CSG licence covering the whole of the Sydney basin.
The unanimous council decision came on the same day as the Minister for Energy and Resources Anthony Roberts announced he had cancelled three PELs in NSW.
“We’re very proud to have Marrickville council on board. It has twice spoken out in support of the residents’ campaign against coal seam gas. Now, it has taken a further step”, said Ms Hinman.
“The council has now committed itself to a campaign to put pressure on the state government in the lead-up to the March 2015 elections to cancel the PEL 463 which extends across the Sydney basin. It will write to the minister asking that he cancel the licence, and it will publicise the issues across the Marrickville LGA.
“Council has committed to educate the LGA about the dangers of unconventional gas mining, and will erect signs around Marrickville declaring that it is a council which does not support coal seam gas.
“It has also committed to investigate a non-binding poll in the 2016 council elections on CSG as a way of adding pressure to get the licence extinguished – if it hasn’t already been cancelled”, said Ms Hinman.
Adrienne Shilling, who also spoke at the council meeting on behalf of the group, said:
“Most Marrickville residents would not be aware that there is a current licence to drill for coal seam gas (CSG) – mainly covering residential areas – across Marrickville and the Sydney basin”.
“And they wouldn’t know that the minister has given approval for Dart Energy to sell that licence to to a UK company IGas which states it doesn’t want to hold Australian assets”.
“The licence expires in October 2015. This means that CSG exploration remains a possibility – possibly after being sold back to a company with licences where fracking is already underway”.
“We want the NSW minister to cancel the licence now. Given the new 2-kilometre buffer zone laws, and the community opposition to CSG drilling, it is an anachronism that there still is a licence to drill in an area where more than 4 million people live and work”, said Ms Shilling.
A hard-fought community campaign over 2011-2012, supported by Marrickville Council, helped stop Dart Energy’s test drill plans for St Peters.
Council supported the local residents’ community group, Stop CSG Sydney (formerly Sydney Residents Against Coal Seam Gas) in its quest to put a stop to a test drill just metres from schools and parks and homes.
Marrickville Council passed the following motion:
1. Supports Stop CSG Sydney’s campaign for the extinguishment of the licence held by Dart Energy to drill for coal seam gas that is in operation over the Sydney basin including parts of the Marrickville Local Government Area (PEL 463);
2. Calls on NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Minister Roberts to cancel the licence now under his current powers; and
3. Commits to supporting the campaign by:
a. Writing to the Energy and Resources Minister outlining its concerns about CSG drilling, fracking and the impact of CSG mining on groundwater, and urging the Minister not to allow the licence to be bought by UK company IGas;
b. Advertising this motion and the campaign in the next Marrickville council newsletter and on its website;
c. Erecting signs around the Marrickville LGA that it a ‘Coal Seam Gas Free’ council;
d. Committing to investigate a non-binding poll the 2016 council elections on CSG (to be run by the NSW electoral Commission) to assist the campaign to get the CSG licence extinguished (if it hasn’t already been cancelled).
Pip Hinman: 0412 139 968
Adrienne Shilling: 0411 550 849
STOP CSG SYDNEY