Thomas George demands CSG buyback in Lismore
Member for Lismore Thomas George has demanded the NSW Government block the sale of the PEL 445 CSG exploration licence and buy the licence back.
A re-elected Baird Government will extend its buy-back of CSG licences until 30 June 2015 and will not approve the transfer of any titles until all potential buy-back negotiations with the existing and/ or proposed titleholder have been exhausted.
“This extension is welcome, but clearly it does not go far enough. The PEL 445 exploration licence covers the majority of the Lismore electorate and the community wants it gone for good,” Mr George said.
"The people of the Lismore electorate have continually made it clear to me that they do not want CSG here. When I became aware this PEL 445 was being transferred, I was shocked and disappointed.
“The first thing I did was contact the Resources Minister and the Deputy Premier and demand the government immediately block the sale of PEL 445 and buy back this licence.
"The former Labor Government issued every single one of the seven CSG exploration licences on the North Coast, with no protections in place for our water, land and environment.”
Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader Troy Grant said Thomas George has delivered the message from his community loud and clear.
“The Lismore community does not want CSG,” Mr Grant said.
“I’m here because Thomas George is listening to the concerns of his community and the government is listening to Thomas George,” Mr Grant said.
“Let’s not forget the past – Labor handed out 37 CSG exploration licences, leaving a CSG footprint across approximately 45 per cent of NSW.
“We’ve issued no new licences since 2011. We’ve instead cancelled, reduced and bought-back existing licences to decrease that footprint to just 11pc.
“Labor is now saying they’ll arbitrarily cancel the licences they issued if re-elected – that is more than an empty promise, it’s a lie.
“Labor’s plan is no plan at all – they would have us bogged down in the courts for decades – where is the certainty in that?
“Our buy back scheme is working, we are fixing Labor’s mess.
“The owners of PEL 445 now need to come to the table and give us the opportunity to buy it back.”