Metgasco confident of winning court case on Rosella well

METGASCO managing director Peter Henderson says the company is confident of success in its case against the NSW Government after its court hearing wrapped up this week.

"We were very happy with the efforts of our legal team," Mr Henderson said.

"If we weren't confident of winning, we wouldn't have gone to court."

In the hearing, the company's legal team argued the government's decision to suspend PEL16 was unlawful, unfair and flawed for confusing a political problem with a lack of community consultation.

They said the decision was unlawful because, under the onshore Petroleum Act, the government could only suspend an exploration licence if an environmental condition was breached. Community consultation was not a listed environmental condition.

Metgasco lawyers also argued the government failed to give the company fair warning it needed to improve its community consultation efforts. It's understood this argument was conceded by the government's legal team.

Metgasco said the company provided the public with comprehensive information on its activities - including information on unconventional gas and fracking, and the nature of the Rosella tight sands well - on its website, by phone and in public forums.

The company made the point in court and publicly that "consultation does not mean persuasion".

At one point Justice Button said because there was global concern about environmental issues there may have been people in Chicago worried about Metgasco's activities.

"Is Metgasco to consult with those people in some way?" he asked.

Metgasco said in a statement yesterday that it had "no control" on the timing of the court's decisions.



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