Government closes the door on Northern Rivers PEL buy-backs

NSW Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has slammed the Liberal National Government for closing the petroleum exploration licence buyback scheme without closing a deal for a CSG free Northern Rivers. 

Today's announcement comes despite the Member for Lismore Thomas George promising PEL 445 would be bought back in the dying days before the election.

'PEL 445 covers a huge chunk of the Northern Rivers, including the Ballina Electorate. The opposition to coal seam gas within its borders couldn't be more obvious.

"How loud do we have to be before this Government listens to us?' Ms Smith has asked.

'With Thomas George now nowhere to be seen on this issue, it's as if he's completely given up on the Northern Rivers, Ms Smith said. 

'Meanwhile his son Stuart George is still busy at work for Metgasco, the company this week announcing plans to pursue seismic testing around Rock Valley.

16 PELS have been bought back where politically convenient as part of the Government's failed gas buy back scheme.

NSW Greens Mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said, 'The government has bought back all the easy licences where CSG was unlikely to have ever gone ahead, but they have failed to tackle the hard licences including the Northern Rivers, Gloucester, Narrabri and the Liverpool Plains.'

'The Liberals have thrown the Nationals under a bus, and the Nationals are no longer relevant because they can't protect country people,' Ms Smith.

'This Government has proven they are completely incapable of representing the interests of our region, and far better at acting like the policy arm of mining companies,' Ms Smith said.

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