News

Page MP "disappointed" at Metgasco's return

Page MP Kevin Hogan.
Page MP Kevin Hogan. Contributed

UPDATE 2.05pm: NEW Page MP Kevin Hogan says he is "exceptionally disappointed" at Metgasco's decision to return to the Northern Rivers.

In a statement, Mr Hogan says he has arranged to meet with Metgasco chief Peter Henderson next week to "convey my belief that there is currently not community support for CSG within the Northern Rivers".

"I believe very strongly this decision flies in the face of where the community stands. I don't think there is currently enough evidence to say that it's safe," Mr Hogan says.

"The concerns of the community about water and air quality, as well as the increasing industrialisation of the farm land have not been adequately addressed for Metgasco to return to exploring with in the Northern Rivers."

Mr Hogan also speaks out in defence of people who oppose coal seam gas, and who were recently dismissed by new Coalition Resouces Minister Ian Macfarlane as "noisy protesters, minority groups, with no interest in the development of regional Australia and the economic progress of agriculture and mining together". Mr Macfarlane also slammed CSG opponents as wanting to "politicise this issue and tell lies".

"The opponents of coal seam gas are sometimes branded as a noisy minority," Mr Hogan says in his statement.

"In this community they are not. They're fathers, mothers, professionals, farmers and senior citizens who have unanswered questions about the Industry and are therefore uncomfortable about it developing here at present."

Lock the Gate's Michael McNamara and Richmond MP Justine Elliott pictured in March, 2013.
Lock the Gate's Michael McNamara and Richmond MP Justine Elliott pictured in March, 2013. Blainey Woodham

UPDATE, 12.30pm: RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot has called on new Page MP Kevin Hogan to explain his and the National Party's position on coal seam gas drilling in light of Metgasco's decision to return to the Northern Rivers.

Ms Elliot has come out swinging over the announcement, in which Metgasco boss Peter Henderson attributes the decision to return to the region to "recent regulatory and political developments, particularly since the September Federal election".

Mr Henderson's announcement follow outspoken support for coal seam gas by Federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane, who has attacked NSW's policy of having CSG exclusion zones around populated areas, saying they should apply only to "urban centres" and not "hamlets".

"Metgasco admits that the main reason for recommencing CSG mining is the Liberal National Party victory at the Federal election," Ms Elliot says in her statement.

"Kevin Hogan must today explain why he and the National Party are allowing Metgasco to recommence CSG mining in the Northern Rivers.

"Throughout the election campaign we kept saying that a vote for the National Party is a vote for CSG mining and today this has been shown to be 100% correct.

"At both a State and a Federal level we are now seeing locals being sold out by the pro-CSG National Party.

"I stand with the community in opposing harmful CSG mining in our region. This is in contrast to all the National Party members on the North Coast, both State and Federal who are allowing CSG mining to occur."

Peter Henderson said in a statement that it wanted to start drilling its Rosella-1 well, 12 km to the northeast of Casino.
Peter Henderson said in a statement that it wanted to start drilling its Rosella-1 well, 12 km to the northeast of Casino.

11.10am: METGASCO is set to return to the Northern Rivers, the company announced this morning.

The company's managing director Peter Henderson said in a statement that it wanted to start drilling its Rosella-1 well, 12 km to the northeast of Casino.

"Six months ago, Metgasco suspended field operations when the NSW government announced major changes to regulatory and administrative procedures," he said.

"Like Metgasco, major industry players also chose to suspend activity in NSW at that time."

"However, recent regulatory and political developments, particularly since the September Federal election, have encouraged Metgasco to initiate the activities necessary to enable field operations to recommence".

The Rosella well drills for conventional gas rather than coal seam gas. However, Metgasco has indicated it is considering using hydraulic fracturing to access coal seam gas  at other sites.

Topics:  coal seam gas, environment, metgasco, northern rivers



PHOTOS: Firies battle North Coast bushfire

NSW Fire and Rescue crews at the scene of a bushfire at East Ballina.

NSW Fire and Rescue crews are fighting a bushfire at Ballina

Car rollover puts five family members in hospital

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked to a crash at Woodenbong last night. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Five members of the same family taken to hospital

Flights resume as Bali ash cloud clears

Tourists are finding themselves caught in Bali, or unable to fly, after a volcanic ash cloud developed over the Indonesian island.

Jetstar was forced to cancel seven flights on Tuesday

Local Partners

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction