News

Protest had ‘zero bearing’ on Metgasco decision: Minister

NSW Resources Minister Anthony Roberts pictured talking with Lock the Gate's Ian Gaillard at Casino late last month.
NSW Resources Minister Anthony Roberts pictured talking with Lock the Gate's Ian Gaillard at Casino late last month. Hamish Broome

PEOPLE power was not a factor in the decision to suspend Metgasco's exploration licence, it was the company's mislabelling of the Rosella tight sands well as "conventional", according to Resources Minister Anthony Roberts.

The minister refused to acknowledge community opposition in the suspension, which Mr Roberts publicly denounced as "mob rule" in Casino last month.

"Pressure from any group, be it industry or protesters, is not a factor," a spokesman for the minister said.

Mr Roberts said in ordering the suspension he was also aware of concerns raised before ICAC.

But a spokesman said the minister would not comment on whether he was referring to alleged links between Metgasco's major shareholders and disgraced NSW Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

Trading on Metgasco shares were frozen temporarily yesterday, with the company saying it was confident it complied with the PEL 16 licence conditions and was seeking to demonstrate this to the government. 

Meanwhile, oil and gas lobby group Australian Petroleum and Production Association labelled the suspension of Metgasco's PEL 16 licence as a "dangerous precedent".

It said in a statement that resources projects in the state now faced an "uncertain future courtesy of a campaign by the Greens and extreme environmental groups".

The public opposition on show at the Bentley blockade "should not mean that genuine consultation with the community has been ineffective", the association said.

Local shareholder John Vaughan said the decision would ultimately prove "embarrassing" for the government.

"(Metgasco) spent $100 million since 1996 on the Northern Rivers developing the resource and exploring. They've complied with every letter of the law in NSW," he said.

"It's like someone getting a DA approved for their house and 12 years later the council saying, 'We'll take the DA away thanks very much'.

"You expect these sorts of decisions in Third World countries, not in NSW."

Bentley landholder Peter Graham, whose family owned the property where Metgasco planned to drill the Rosella well, said "fearmongering" by Lock the Gate had not been properly addressed by the industry.

"The issue is not about gas. It's about communication."

Topics:  bentley bentley blockade csg metgasco



PHOTO GALLERY: Lego Brick Event, Lismore City Hall

Shaun Patrick (centre) shows patrons the Minecraft Lego display at the Lismore City Hall on Saturday.

Did we snap you at the Lego display on Saturday?

WIN a fishing trip, $5000 BCF voucher and get free stuff

Want to catch one of these big fellas!? Get your name into our competition to win the ultimate fishing holiday!

WERE running a stack of reely incredible giveaways!

Fresh calls for better broadband in regional Australia

SELF-DIAGNOSIS: More people are turning to the internet to google and diagnose their symptoms.

Medical association: 'The Government must take action'

Local Partners

Fresh calls for better broadband in regional Australia

'THE Government must take action to ensure that all Australians have access to reliable, high speed broadband': Medical association.


Celebrate our native Aussies on January 26

Davidsons plums are one of the foods native to our region. Made into a dipping sauce or marinade, they're perfect for an Australia Day barbecue. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Spice up your Australia Day celebration with some local bush tucker

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!