PN Member Scott Ludlam Joins Celebration over Suspension of Lincence for CSG Drill

On May 15, 2014, the New South West (Australia) Resources Minister Anthony Roberts announced the state has suspended the licence for Metgasco to drill the exploration test well at Bentley because they have failed to bring the community onside.

Five days after the New South Wales government suspended Metgasco's exploration licence at the site, blockade participants - some of whom have been in place since early this year - packed their bags.

Protesters marked the morning with a closing ceremony before pulling apart the camp, which is expected to be completely cleared by the end of the week.

PN member Senator Scott Ludlam joined the protester’s celebration on Monday, May 19. "There is a huge buzz here," he said. "People are in a mood to celebrate and we are amazed by how well organised the protest is. "But there have been people in meetings all day talking about where to go from here. After all, the exploration licence has been suspended, not extinguished."

Mr Ludlam said there remained anti-CSG confrontations all across the country and at Bentley there was deliberation on how to take that sense of community here to communities elsewhere.

"People want to know how best to take that sense of community and that sense of defiance and take it to those places that need help," he added.

The exploration licence was suspended because Metgasco failed to adequately consult the community.

Coal seam gas (CSG) is a form of natural gas extracted from coal beds. Its extraction is controversial with regards to its impact on the environment and public health. Recently, the Medical Journal of Australia has published a letter from adjunct associate professor Marion Carey from Monash University and others, raising evidence in the US of aquifers being contaminated by chemicals used in a process known as fracking, and a similar problem that emerged more recently in New South West (NSW), and questions why authorities have not exercised more caution in approving CSG projects.


Photo courtesy of guercio.


PN member Senator Scott Ludlam is spokesperson for Communications, Housing, Heritage, Nuclear Issues, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities.

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