NSW Government puts freeze on CSG licenses

THE NSW Government is putting a freeze on all new CSG exploration licenses, as well as conducting an audit of existing ones.
THE NSW Government is putting a freeze on all new CSG exploration licenses, as well as conducting an audit of existing ones. Doug Eaton

THE NSW Government is putting a freeze on all new CSG exploration licenses, as well as conducting an audit of existing ones.

Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts told" speculators or cowboys" they need not apply.

The announcement comes after the government rejected five PELAs (Petroleum Exploration Licence Applications) from Grainger Energy, covering 43,100 square kilometres in the Riverina region.

"Grainger Energy has one owner/director, was formed just six days prior to lodging its application, has no history of conducting petroleum exploration activities and has submitted a manifestly deficient application," Mr Roberts said.

They have also issued a 'Show Cause' notice to Leichhardt Resources, asking why there three PELs should not be cancelled in the Moree.

Mr Roberts said they have not ruled out cancelling other PELs.

He said a petroleum title may be cancelled on a number of grounds, including contravention of conditions, failure to use the title area in good faith for the purpose for which the title was granted, and for contraventions of the Act.

"It is clear that the PEL application process under the former Labor Government was not up to scratch. In 2002 NSW Labor introduced a PEL application fee of just $1,000. The proponent could then hold a PEL across a large area of land,

which placed unnecessary and understandable stress across communities," he said.

Mr Roberts announced fees will now rise to $50,000 and said his government has put in place the most comprehensive regulations for the CSG industry in the country.

Topics:  coal seam gas csg nsw government

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