On March 20 this year, our NSW Leader and Deputy Premier Troy Grant stood alongside Thomas George, Member for Lismore, and promised to fight for the people of the Northern Rivers to buyback the unpopular Coal Seam Gas (CSG) license Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) 445. Last week, Thomas stood in the same spot to deliver on that promise as part of the government’s ongoing Gas Plan.
PEL 445 is the 17th license to be purchased back by the NSW Government, reducing the CSG footprint from 60 per cent to eight per cent. This is all part of our ongoing plan to buy back Labor’s CSG licenses, which were originally sold for a pittance in a poorly planned and ill-advised process.
PEL 445 covered 565,693 hectares of the Northern Rivers in areas around Kyogle, Lismore, Nimbin and Evans Head. “The Northern Rivers community overwhelmingly wanted PEL445 gone and I am thrilled we have made this a reality,’’ Thomas said.
The purchase comes just a month after the buy-back of PEL 457, which covered 75,000 hectares of the Northern Rivers area, west of Yamba. Further PEL buybacks are eligible to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.