Elders distance themselves from Githabul ‘deal’ with Metgasco

MEMBERS of the local Githabul tribe have distanced themself from calls by the chairman of their native title corporation to join forces with the gas industry.

The dispute follows years of infighting within the Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation (GNAC) which administers 1120 sq km of native title land along the Queensland border surrounding Woodenbong.

GNAC chairman Trevor Close this week identified Metgasco's planned well at Bentley as suitable for a joint venture with the native title corporation.

Mr Close declared in a statement that the "the potential of this new gas well will deliver millions back to the Githabul people".

Under a so-called "farm-in" agreement, GNAC would become a co-investor in the drilling project and take a percentage stake in any future profits.

Metgasco chief Peter Henderson said farm-in agreements were common in the oil and gas industry, with up to two, three, and even four parties taking stakes in some projects.

Mr Close said the Githabul people were "happy to share gas" with NSW in the "spirit of reconciliation", and to stop the state's interstate gas dependency.

But Githabul elder Gloria Williams said no one in her tribe supported the gas industry, and that Mr Close lived in Sydney and ran a mining consultancy.

She said GNAC had been hijacked by a group "intent on doing mining deals", which didn't have local support.

"We live in the heart of Githabul and have been trying to address this issue with GNAC, and they have been avoiding us for two years," she said.

"All these deals he [Mr Close] is talking about, we have never sat down as a tribe and spoken about."

Metgasco chief Peter Henderson scotched rumours that an agreement had already been reached with GNAC.

"The deal has not been done - this is an aspiration from the Githabul group," he said.

But he said Metgasco was open to an agreement if the terms were appropriate.

At a planned 2100m deep, the Bentley well is expected to cost between $4 - 5 million, much more costly than Metgasco's more typical 6-700m deep wells which cost under $1 million.

"We have worked with indigenous groups for quite some time now, and we appreciate their support and that of the broader community, and will be doing our best to work to add value to these communities in the Northern Rivers," he said.

Mr Henderson said he had attended a workshop with elders two weeks ago covering all aspects of the industry and dealt with concerns about groundwater. He said the group stressed the importance of employment opportunities for young people.

Topics:  csg metgasco

WATCH: As Knitting Nannas arrest 'Kevin Hogan'

The Knitting Nannas at Kevin Hogan's office in Molesworth St and, below left, Knitting Nanna Dororthy Moller with an 'arrest warrant for Kevin Hogan.

Group storms office in brazen stunt

Guilty plea to hidden hydro weed operation

epa03462089 (FILE) A file photo dated 31 August 2010 shows a worker tending to cannabis plants at a growing facility for the Tikun Olam company near the northern Israeli town of Safed, Israel. Reports on 07 November 2012 state that Colorado and Washington became the first US states to legalize cannabis for recreational use, while medical marijuana initiatives were on the ballot in Massachusetts, Montana and Arkansas.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN ISRAEL OUT

Operation employed a gang of "trimmers" to cut and package cannabis

Insight into Lyme disease on SBS

Paralysis tick

Insight will look at the controversy over Lyme disease in Australia

Local Partners

Craft beer comes to Beef Town in new festival

TONY Hennessy explains how the Northern Rivers Craft Beer and Cider Festival came about.

The Living End are coming to Byron Bay

The Living End

The Living End are going on the road in 2017 for a regional tour

November will be a big month for NORPA

ARTS: NORPA has added new shows to the Dreamland season from November 23 to December 10.

Peter Garrett, Dreamland and the 2017 Season Launch, among others

The Superjesus: Back with Love and Violence

DOWN AGAIN: The Superjesus are Paul Berryman on drums, Sarah McLeod on lead vocals and Stuart Rudd on bass guitar.

The Superjesus are back after 13 years

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.