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Thomas George: You should always deliver on promises

Monday morning at the Bentley Blockade. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star
Monday morning at the Bentley Blockade. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

UPDATE 3.03pm: Nationals MP Thomas George has delivered on a promise he made to buy back the Petroleum Exploration Licence 445 that covers over 565,000 hectares including Lismore, Urbenville, Kyogle and Bonalbo.

"I demanded the government buy it back, and we made the promise seven months ago," Mr George said.

"Today I am very proud to announce that the government has bought back PEL 445 on behalf of the community," he said.

The licence was formerly owned by mining company Dart Energy, but Mr George didn't say how much it cost.

"I am proud that we have delivered on that election promise.

"This is a great win for the community, this is for them," he said.

"One thing about a promise is that you should always deliver it.

"I knew we would deliver this, it has taken a lot of extra time in negotiations, I want to thank the premier on his successful negotiations," Mr George said.

Metgasco still holds PEL 16 covering Bentley, and the government was ready to continue negotiations to buy back this area as well.

Lismore council's antagonistic relationship with Metgasco was not helping the process he said.

"We have had a breakdown in negotiations ...but I encourage Metgasco to come back to the table in relation to their PELs," he said.

Future governments will have the power to reissue exploration licences over the PEL 445 area, but this was unlikely he said.

"I would be shocked if any government wants to renegotiate a deal on PEL 445 with another organisation. I would say PEL 445 is totally dead," he said.

It is the 17th PEL bought by the State government bringing the potential CSG footprint in NSW down from 60% to less than 8%.

"The Northern Rivers Community overwhelmingly wanted PEL gone and I am thrilled we have made this a reality," Mr George said.

"I have been criticised by the greens. My integrity has been called into question.

"I have one message for them, when you make a promise you have to deliver it.

"Green politicians Tamara Smith and Adam Guise have done absolutely nothing," he said.

"The only way you can deliver on a promise in government, is by being part of a government," he said.

The buy-back was a good result for the community but it should not distract attention from the "clear and present" danger posed by Metgasco in PEL16 covering Bentley and Rock Valley, Mr Guise Northern Rivers Greens convenor said..

"Metgasco is adamant they will start exploring in November," Mr Guise said.

"What is Mr George doing about Metgasco coming back?" he asked.

The CSG has been a major issue in the Northern Rivers for at least four years he said.

"It is about time Mr George did something otherwise his name would be mud," he said.

The Coalition was also motivated to push through the buy-back to help raise support for Kevin Hogan, Federal Member for Page, in the upcoming federal election he said.

"Mr Hogan is in a marginal seat hanging on by his finger nails," Mr Guise said.

"The Nationals are looking to save their Federal seat," he said.

If they had done nothing about the CSG issue they would have been beaten, he said

Mr Hogan said he was thrilled by the buyback of PEL 445.

"As the first Nationals MP three years ago to publicly state that I believed CSG was not suited to the Northern Rivers, I take great delight in this news today," he said.

 

UPDATE 12.54pm: NATIONALS MP Thomas George has delivered on a promise he made seven months ago to buy back the Petroleum Exploration Licence 445 that covers over 565,000 hectares including Lismore, Urbenville, Kyogle and Bonalbo.

"I demanded the government buy it back, and we made the promise seven months ago," Mr George said.

"Today I am very proud to announce that the government has bought back PEL 445 on behalf of the community.

"I am proud that we have delivered on that election promise.

"This is a great win for the community, this is for them

"One thing about a promise is that you should always deliver it," he said.

"I knew we would deliver this, it has taken a lot of extra time in negotiations, I want to thank the premier on his successful negotiations," Mr George said.

The licence was purchased from mining company Dart Energy, but Mr George didn't say how much it cost.

Metgasco still holds the PEL covering Bentley, and the government was ready to continue to continue negotiations to buy it back as well.

"I have been criticized by the greens,.., I have one message for them, when you make a promise you have to have deliver it," Mr Thomas said.

"The only way you can deliver on a promise in government, is by being part of a government," he said.

 

UPDATE 12.19pm: PAGE MP Kevin Hogan has said he was "thrilled" about the announcement of the buyback of CSG licence PEL 445.

"As the first Nationals MP three years ago to publically state that I believed CSG was not suited to the Northern Rivers, I take great delight in this news today," Mr Hogan said.

"This reduces the area of NSW under CSG licences to less than 8 per cent from 60 per cent when the State Coalition won government.

"I congratulate my State Nationals colleagues and the State Government. They continue to negotiate with Metgasco which when completed will repeal all the CSG licences in our region.

"I congratulate everyone involved, especially the community who made sure their voice was heard.

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell has also taken to Facebook following the announcement:

"Thomas George has just announced that the NSW Gov is buying back PEL 445 covering a large area of the NR," Cr Dowell said.

"t's welcome news and I hope we hear more similar announcements about Metgasco's PEL 16 (Bentley, Rock Valley) and others."

 

INITIAL REPORT: LISMORE MP Thomas George has announced this morning that the Nationals will deliver on their promise to purchase gas exploration license PEL445.

Mr George said this would reduce the coal seam gas footprint in NSW (the land used for gas exploration) from 60% to less than 8%.

PEL445 spreads across the Lismore City Council, Kyogle Council area and Richmond Valley Council area. 

More to come.

Topics:  coal seam gas csg nationals thomas george



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