Anti-CSG activist outraged over school PR ‘by stealth’

METGASCO is offering presentations by some of its senior staff to schools and also copies of DVD "to build a balanced, national understanding of energy".

A letter, sent to an unknown number of schools, offers the services of CEO Peter Henderson, exploration manager Peter Stanmore and geophysicist Max Milz.

"Your teaching staff, science and commerce teachers in particular, might have an interest," the letter says.

It also suggests a one-hour seminar for senior science students.

Anti-CSG activist Aidan Ricketts said it is "one thing for the company to be pedalling their information to adults, but targeting schools is really wrong".

"The CSG issue is a classic contest between vested interest and public interest. The gasfield-free movement in the Northern Rivers represents the community; over 85% of people want to remain gasfield free. The only people Metgasco ultimately represents is its shareholders and creditors," said Mr Ricketts.

He said he would have no objection to Metgasco putting their DVDs in public libraries and running advertising campaigns, but thinks it's not appropriate for them to be approaching schools as part of the PR battle.

"Here is a vested interest company wanting to push its PR propaganda onto our kids in school... If we accepted this we would have to accept the tobacco lobby putting their DVDs and their in-house experts into our schools next," he said.

The Northern Star contacted a number of schools in Lismore, Casino and Kyogle. Most said they had no record of being approached by Metgasco, though Trinity Catholic College in Lismore confirmed that they had.

Principal John Hilet said they had been offered some DVDs, but had declined the offer.

Metgasco's CEO was unavailable for comment on Monday.



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