Nationals announce gas field for Northern Rivers

MEDIA RELEASE – 4 December 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has condemned the Baird Government for renewing the Dart Energy coal seam gas licence that covers large tracts of the Northern Rivers saying the National Party is determined to turn the area into a coal seam gas field.

Despite small reductions in the exploration licence area, it still covers the towns and surrounding districts of Lismore, Kyogle, Nimbin, The Channon, Coraki, and out to west of Woodenbong, and vast areas of the Richmond, Clarence and Tweed river catchments.

“The National Party today declared the Northern Rivers a coal seam gas zone, tinkering at the edges to try to get them through the upcoming election,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Greens believe the Northern Rivers and NSW should be coal seam gas free and protected by the cancellation of these exploration licences cancelled.  Instead the National Party has renewed the licences.

“Premier Mike Baird has said his government “absolutely” wants coal seam gas, and now they’ve renewed this licence to do just that in the Northern Rivers,” he said.

Greens candidate for Lismore Adam Guise said: “Thomas George is a dinosaur, pushing dinosaur policies to dig up fossil fuels all over the Northern Rivers.  He’s yesterday’s man,” he said.

Greens candidate for Ballina, Tamara Smith said: “It’s shocking that the Nationals have renewed this coal seam gas exploration licence despite the clear community opposition.

“They have changed the boundaries of this exploration licence to try to take the electoral heat out of the issue, but voters will not be fooled.  CSG licences still cover the hinterland and our river catchments,” she said.

Contact: Jeremy Buckingham – 0439 460 691

Map of renewed Dart Energy licence area

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