When will the North Coast be safe from CSG?

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As of today, the Baird Government’s petroleum exploration licence (PEL) buyback scheme has ended - but the controversial PEL 445 in the Lismore area is still owned by a mining company, according to the Department of Resources and Energy.[1]

PEL 445 allows coal seam gas exploration across parts of Kyogle, Lismore and the Clarence and Richmond valleys.  

Responding to community concern about CSG, the Government announced a scheme to buy back PELs but last week’s budget revealed the funding for the scheme expired on 30 June.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle

“Last week, the Baird Government still claimed its buy back scheme was the answer to CSG concerns on the North Coast and elsewhere, but refused to provide details on the status of the scheme.

“Was an agreement to buy back PEL 445 signed in the last few days? Or has the Baird Government just given up pretending to care about CSG on the North Coast?

“The Liberals and Nationals have been completely disingenuous about their so-called commitment to protect the North Coast from CSG.

“Nationals MP Thomas George is ducking and weaving, offering all sorts of excuses – but all signs are pointing to this buy back pledge being just a cheap pre-election stunt. 

“The PEL buy back scheme has lapsed but the North Coast is still at risk. The Baird Government is showing contempt for the people of this region by not coming clean on its plans for CSG.”

[1] http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/landholders-and-community/coal-seam-gas/community/information-on-petroleum-titles/buy-back-scheme