Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham has today received a letter from NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, which confirms that the 6-month freeze on coal seam gas license applications announced in March, is a farce.
In the letter (see below) the Minister confirms that, despite acknowledging in March this year that a comprehensive process for evaluating license applications was needed, the freeze:
- Does not apply to Petroleum Special Prospecting Authority applications, even though this is a form of gas exploration;
- Does not apply to the processing of existing applications made before the freeze and as such NSW Trade & Investment continues to process the 7 Production, 13 Exploration and 6 Special Prospecting Authority license applications they have received;
- Does not apply to the processing of license renewals
So despite this so-called ‘freeze’ on applications many parts of NSW still have the threat of CSG license approvals hanging over them. Towns with license applications over or near them which are being processed include:
- Armidale, Bingara, Binnaway, Bourke, Broken Hill, Casino, Cobar, Coffs Harbour, Collarenebri, Coolah, Corowa, Deniliquin, Dorrigo, Dubbo, Gloucester, Gulgong, Kempsey, Lismore, Lithgow, Naromine, Narrabri, Port Maquarie, Stratford, Taree, Wagga Wagga, Walcha, Walgett, Warialda, Wentworth, Wilcannia