Court rules Dart Energy halt coal seam gas drilling at Fullerton Cove

September 5, 2012
Fullerton Cove residents held a nine-day blockade of the CSG site from August 20. Photo: Kate Ausburn

Reclaim the Cove, the Fullerton Cove campaign to stop coal seam gas mining, released the statement below on September 6.

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In a historic decision, the Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group today won an injunction to prevent Dart Energy from drilling for coal seam gas at Fullerton Cove, near Newcastle, until a full legal challenge has been heard.

The legal action followed a nine-day blockade of the Dart Energy drilling by local residents, which was eventually broken up by the riot squad and then re-established by the community across the road from the site.

The injunction allows Dart Energy to complete road works and the development of a well pad but prevents any drilling at the site.

“We are incredibly happy with the decision by the Land and Environment Court today to call a halt to coal seam gas drilling by Dart Energy at Fullerton Cove” said Justin Hamilton, spokesperson for the Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group.

“This injunction is a victory not just for the Fullerton Cove community but for communities throughout NSW who are having coal seam gas drill rigs forced onto their land.

“It sends a strong message to coal seam gas companies that communities are prepared to stand up for their land and water and expose planning loopholes which favour mining over people and environment.

“There will be no drilling allowed at Fullerton Cove until the full court case has been heard and a judgement handed down which means that our drinking water and wetlands are safe for now.

“We hope that Dart Energy will now reassess their plans for our area and voluntarily withdraw from the exploration licence entirely.

“Failing that, we believe the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, should intervene and cancel the exploration licence on the grounds of the significant non-compliances that have occurred previously.

“Special thanks are due to our legal representatives — solicitors at the Environmental Defenders Office and Barrister, Verity McWilliam.”

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