The North Coast Nationals team can announce that the Party has secured a coal seam gas-free Northern Rivers.

The Nationals said Metgasco has made a common-sense and responsible decision at today’s annual general meeting to accept the Government’s offer to buy back the company’s three Northern Rivers Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs) 16, 13, and 426. The licences cover a total of 457,284 hectares in areas west of Lismore, over Casino and covering Grafton and surrounds.

Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the NSW Government had driven this successful outcome which will deliver for the Northern Rivers community and remove the coal seam gas mess left by Labor.

“This is an historic day for the Northern Rivers and the NSW Nationals team is proud to achieve this great outcome for the Northern Rivers,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“This removes the last of the Northern Rivers’ petroleum exploration licences which is exactly what the community wanted.

“The Nationals and the NSW Government have listened to the people of the Northern Rivers and achieved a result that delivers for the people of the Northern Rivers.

“We didn’t create the coal seam gas mess in this region - it was Labor which handed out PELs like confetti, but we have now fixed it.”

Member for Lismore Thomas George said the news followed the NSW Government’s successful buyback of PEL 445 covering 565,693 hectares around Kyogle, Lismore, Nimbin and Evans Head, which delivered on a NSW Nationals pre-election commitment in March this year.

Since the election the NSW Government also achieved the buyback of PEL 457, covering 75,000 hectares west of Yamba.

“That’s the last five PELs successfully bought back since the March election this year, adding to our success of the previous buyback of two other PELS on the Northern Rivers,” Mr George said.

“There are no more PELs on the Northern Rivers. We’ve shown we’re committed to achieving the right results for the Northern Rivers through a legal and responsible buybacks process,” Mr George said.

“Lots of people talked tough about a CSG free Northern Rivers. The Nationals have actually delivered it.”

Byron Bay based Nationals MLC Ben Franklin said today’s outcome showed the value of NSW Nationals grass-roots representation.

“We are proud to be the party that listens then acts to get the results that are in the long-term interests of our communities,” Mr Franklin said.

“The NSW Nationals have been listening hard to locals and their concerns. They spoke loudly and the Nationals have acted. We have always proudly stood up for our residents before anything else and by getting rid of CSG from the North Coast, we have shown that once again.”

The NSW Government has bought back 19 PELs across the State, covering more than five million hectares.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.