Tag Archives: bentley

Metgasco fiasco should be a lesson to AGL, Santos and coal industry

MEDIA RELEASE – 16 December 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the announcement that Metgasco shareholders have agreed to take the compensation package in exchange for abandoning plans to frack for coal seam gas in the Northern Rivers.  He said the Metgasco fiasco was a lesson about the importance of earning a social licence to operate.

“The Metgasco fiasco highlights the importance of earning a social licence to operate in a community.  Metgasco patently failed to do this and the shareholders have paid the price,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Neither AGL in Gloucester, nor Santos in the North West have earned a social licence from those communities and should heed what has happened to Metgasco when contemplating the future of their coal seam gas projects.

“New coal mines also do not have a social licence, with significant community opposition as well as widespread concern about the impact on the climate.

“The goals of the Paris climate agreement will only be met if we phase out fossil fuels and that clearly means new fossil fuel industries, such as coal seam gas, must be prohibited.”

$25m Metgasco buy back shows the power of the people

 

MEDIA RELEASE – 2 November 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said it was fantastic and historic news that the Metgasco Board had recommended shareholders accept a $25 million buyback of their controversial coal seam gas licence in the Northern Rivers of NSW, and that the offer and recommendation demonstrated the strength of people power.

“This is historic victory for people power, which through unity and determination has ejected this toxic industry from their community.  The Greens celebrate and are proud to have been a part of making the Northern Rivers gasfield free,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Greens urge shareholders to accept the generous offer from the government as the only route out of a quagmire after Metgasco’s management failed to gain a social licence to drill for coal seam gas in the Northern Rivers.

“Both the company and the NSW Government wanted gas extraction to occur in the Northern Rivers, and have been dragged kicking and screaming to this position.  This demonstrates the importance of a social licence, and the power of the people to stop operations that the community believes are highly detrimental.

“If the government had been truly listening to the community, rather than trying to implement quick political fixes, it may have acted in a way to stop coal seam gas without having to pay out so much taxpayer money.  The Greens have moved numerous bills and amendments that would have banned coal seam gas, not only in the Northern Rivers, but state-wide.

“$25 million is a large sum, and I join many in the community in questioning whether Metgasco’s failures should be compensated by taxpayers.  But in the end, $25 million is not a lot compared to protecting the land, water, communities and other industries of the Northern Rivers and to give people long-term certainty,” he said.

Greens member for Ballina, Tamara Smith said: “Many people voted Greens in Ballina and Lismore at the last election to send a message on coal seam gas.  Today’s events demonstrate that voting Greens is powerful.”   

Back to Bentley, as Metgasco spits the dummy at NSW Government

MEDIA RELEASE – 1 September 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today slammed coal seam gas company Metgasco for suing the NSW Government and renewing drilling at Bentley near Lismore saying the company was belligerent and did not have a social licence to operate in the Northern Rivers.

“It’s outrageous and belligerent that this company would sue taxpayers for compensation and threaten to resume drilling when their social licence to operate in the Northern Rivers has so comprehensively been rejected,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“If Metgasco go back to Bentley, then the community will be there to meet them in large numbers and with determination to protect the land and water.

“It is not up to taxpayers to bailout this company who have comprehensively failed to gain a social licence to operate and they should not be trying to extort the NSW Government.

Where is the Member for Lismore Thomas George?  He promised to have the licence cancelled by 30 June 2015, yet here we have Metgasco forcing their way back to Bentley with an assurance of police protection given by the government.

“The government and Shooters Party recently voted down a Greens bill that would have banned coal seam gas in the Northern Rivers.  They’ve got no one but themselves to blame for this huge mess,” he said.

Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “Should that drill rig come anywhere near our beautiful Northern Rivers rest assured I will be standing on the frontline with the community at Bentley.”

The time for talk is over: Baird Government should cancel Metgasco’s licenses

MEDIA RELEASE – 2 July 2015

The Greens NSW coal seam gas spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has today called on the Baird Government to suspend talks with Metgasco and support legislation which would allow the North Coast coal seam gas licenses to be cancelled in the public interest without compensation.

This comes as Metgasco confirmed to the stock market that they are in discussions with the NSW Government over “the future of [their] gas operations in the Northern Rivers”.

“This whole process of negotiations with Metgasco is a farce which is creating unnecessary uncertainty for the community and is a waste of taxpayers’ money,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The government has the power to do what the community wants, and they can legislate to ensure that all of Metgasco’s licenses are cancelled without compensation.

“The time for talk is over.  The Liberals and Nationals need to stop wining and dining with gas lobbyists and tell Metgasco to pack their bags and leave the Northern Rivers.

“The risks to our land, water, climate and communities are too high to let this industry proceed and that is why the Greens are calling for a complete and permanent ban on coal seam gas,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

 

Thomas George should resign after broken coal seam gas promise

MEDIA RELEASE – 30 June 2015

The Greens NSW coal seam gas spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has today called on Nationals member for Lismore Thomas George to resign after breaking his promise to the North Coast community to buy back the North Coast coal seam gas licenses before the 30 June 2015.

“Thomas George has broken the trust of the people of Lismore and the North Coast by failing to keep his pre-election promise to buy back the North Coast coal seam gas licenses and should resign immediately,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“At the time the promise to buy-back the license was made, I said that it was simply Thomas George trying to con voters, one week out from an election, into believing he had a significant response to the widespread opposition to CSG in the region and sadly today this has been proved correct.

“This broken promise follows the shocking revelation that it was Thomas George who actually shut down debate on a proposal at the National Party conference to ban coal seam gas in the Northern Rivers,” Mr Buckingham said.

Former Greens candidate for Lismore Adam Guise said:

“The people of Lismore deserve better than broken promises and weasel words from their elected representative on such an important issue and it is time for Thomas George to step aside.

“The risks to our land, water, climate and communities are too high to let this industry proceed and that is why the Greens are calling for a complete and permanent ban on coal seam gas,” Mr Guise said.

Contact:

Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

Adam Guise – 0497 851 305

Greens’ bill to ban coal seam gas will provide certainty

MEDIA RELEASE – 30 April 2015

 

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham and Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith today launched a new private members bill that will legislate to prohibit coal seam gas across NSW, saying it was time for NSW to act decisively and move past the fractious coal seam gas debate, ban the industry and move forward with clean renewable energy projects.

The Greens will introduce the Bill to the NSW Legislative Council on Tuesday 5 May as their first act in the new parliament.

  • The Bill amends the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 by making it an offense to prospect for or mine coal seam gas and other unconventional gas in NSW.
  • The Bill does not directly cancel existing petroleum licenses, although it renders them useless, but it does give the Minister the ability to cancel licenses without compensation where it is in the public interest to do so. This is done by reinstating the public interest test which was introduced by the Government in 2013 but was subsequently repealed in 2014.

“There was a lot of rhetoric during the election campaign from all political persuasions, over which party would best protect land and water from coal seam gas.  This bill gives all parties the chance to stop coal seam gas in NSW,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Greens opposition to coal seam gas has been clear and we are acting immediately to put this position to the new Parliament.

“We know there is no gas shortage. We know that CSG pollutes the environment. We know it is widely opposed by voters. We know clean renewable energy is the way forward.  It’s time to ban this toxic industry and move on.

“The government has got itself into a policy and legal mess trying to placate community and environmental concerns on the one hand, but facilitate coal seam gas on the other.  It is time for the government to act decisively and protect land and water.”

Contact:  Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

Read the Bill Briefing note and the draft legislation.

Metgasco can’t win a social licence in the Supreme Court

JEREMY BUCKINGHAM MLC & TAMARA SMITH MP

MEDIA RELEASE – 24 April 2015

The Greens have said that coal seam gas company Metgasco does not have a social licence to drill and should pack up and leave, and that the NSW Government should restore a broad public interest test in the state’s mining and gas laws, following a decision by the Supreme Court today to overturn the Government’s suspension drilling at Bentley, near Lismore in the Northern Rivers.

“You can’t win a social licence in the Supreme Court of NSW, and despite this technical legal victory, it is clear coal seam gas has been comprehensively rejected by the community in Northern NSW,” said Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham.

“The government may have stuffed up the cancellation process, but the substantive issue that the community has rejected unconventional gas extraction in the Northern Rivers remains.

“The Greens will be introducing legislation to re-instate a broad public interest test so government has the power to protect communities from irresponsible mining and gas drilling.

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “Despite the court victory, Metgasco should heed the clear message from the community that they want a gas field free Northern Rivers.  Metgasco should pack up and leave. “If Metgasco try to drill again, the community will resist and I will be standing with them.

“The judgement in no way endorses Metgasco’s community consultation and the Judge goes to some effort to emphasis “it is no part of my function to assess the desirability of any of the activities of Metgasco, or the desirability of the suspension of any of those activities.”

“It’s clear from the decision today that the laws in NSW are not able to protect the land, water and communities on the Northern Rivers from the risks of coal seam gas development.”

Contact

Jeremy Buckingham: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

Tamara Smith: Graeme Williams – 0402 438 833

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