Govt rules out North Coast coal seam gas, again
THE NSW Government has ruled out coal seam gas mining and exploration on the North Coast.
Deputy Premier John Barlilaro put a line through it yesterday during unveling of the The North Coast Regional Plan at Coffs Harbour yesterday.
"We've heard the community's viewpoint on coal seam gas loud and clear and this plan states that CSG resources on the North Coast will remain in the ground," Mr Barilaro said.
The Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, was another member of the government happy to keep CSG in the ground.
"Despite what the deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, might be saying there is no appetite for coal seam gas mining on the North Coast," Mr Gulaptis said.
Mr Joyce last week floated a national plan to give farmers who allowed gas wells on their land a 10% share of the royalties generated.
Mr Gulaptis does not think that will be enough to change the minds of enough farmers.
"Landowners here have consistently been against CSG and landowners don't agree with it now," he said.
He said, given their opposition, it was impossible to make CSG mining sustainable.
"The size of property holdings here will make the practice unsustainable," he said.
"For it to work miners would need access to properties of 10,000 to 20,000 acres.
"Around the average land holding is 200 acres to 500 acres.
"If you're only getting the odd landowner to agree to mining, it just can be sustainable."
Mr Gulaptis said there was also no appetite to allow CSG mining exploration in the government.
"The government has bought up the exploration licences on the North Coast and in reality there's plenty of natural gas around," he said.
Mr Gulaptis said the claims of a "gas shortage" in Australia were hard to understand.
"We've got plenty of gas in Australia," he said. "The issues seems to be ensuring there is enough of it directed to domestic supply and not go offshore.
"I just cannot understand how we have got to a situation where it's cheaper for us to export gas to Japan and then buy it back from."
He said the Federal Government must ensure domestic supply above anything else.