Media statement by Sydney Stop CSG
Stop CSG Sydney President Pip Hinman has welcomed Marrickville Council's decision at its meeting tonight to support the campaign to extinguish the CSG licence covering the whole of the Sydney basin.
The unanimous council decision came on the same day as the Minister for Energy and Resources Anthony Roberts announced he had cancelled three PELs in NSW.
“We're very proud to have Marrickville council on board. It has twice spoken out in support of the residents' campaign against coal seam gas. Now, it has taken a further step”, said Ms Hinman.
“The council has now committed itself to a campaign to pressure on the state government in the lead-up to the March 2015 elections to cancel the PEL 463 which extends across the Sydney basin. It will write to the minister asking that he cancel the licence, and it will publicise the issues across the Marrickville LGA.
“Council has committed to educate the LGA about the dangers of unconventional gas mining, and will erect signs around Marrickville declaring that it is a council which does not support coal seam gas.
“It has also committed to investigate a non-binding poll in the 2016 council elections on CSG as a way of adding pressure to get the licence extinguished- if it hasn’t already been cancelled”, said Ms Hinman.
Adrienne Shilling, who also spoke at the council meeting on behalf of the group, said:
“Most Marrickville residents would not be aware that there is a current licence to drill for coal seam gas (CSG) – mainly covering residential areas – across Marrickville and the Sydney basin.
“And they wouldn't know that the minister has given approval for Dart Energy to sell that licence to to a UK company IGas which states it doesn't want to hold Australian assets.
“The licence expires in October 2015. This means that CSG exploration remains a possibility – possibly after being sold back to a company with licences where fracking is already underway.
“We want the NSW minister to cancel the licence now. Given the new two-kilometre buffer zone laws, and the community opposition to CSG drilling, it is an anachronism that there still is a licence to drill in an area where more than 4 million people live and work”, said Ms Shilling.
A hard-fought community campaign over 2011-2012, supported by Marrickville Council, helped stop Dart Energy's test drill plans for St Peters.
Council supported the local residents’ community group, Stop CSG Sydney (formerly Sydney Residents Against Coal Seam Gas) in its quest to put a stop to a test drill just metres from schools and parks and homes.
Below: Adrienne Shilling addressing Marrickville Council on behalf of Sydney Stop CSG. Photo by Sandy Thompson.