Metgasco should not try to extort taxpayers

MEDIA RELEASE – 27 August 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today condemned coal seam gas company Metgasco for their tactics of berating the government while negotiating an out-of-court settlement, and for seeking a bailout with taxpayers money – with a report that industry sources say Metgasco will want $120 million to leave the Northern Rivers.

“Metgasco’s problems all stem from their absolute failure to win community support for coal seam gas in the Northern Rivers.  To now demand taxpayers bail them out, potentially to the tune of $120m, is outrageous and borders on extortion,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“This ongoing berating commentary from the company during the court case and negotiations for a possible settlement, reflects extremely poorly on Metgasco’s management.  They should stop whinging and accept reality that the company itself failed.

“Exploration licences come with numerous conditions, including the need for genuine community consultation.  Consultation is not just a tick-a-box exercise, but is an important part of earning a social licence to operate.

“The Petroleum Onshore Act is clear in stating that compensation is not payable if an exploration licences is cancelled for a valid reason.  Unfortunately, the government recently repealed a broader ‘public interest’ reason for licence cancellations, which would have made the process far simpler.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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