Saturday, 8 August 2015


The Grafton Nannas have written to  Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis seeking information on the State Government's plans in relation to PEL (Petroleum Exploration Licence) 426.  This PEL, which covers a large part of the Clarence electorate, still appears to be in the hands of Metgasco.   Metgasco is the company which was involved in exploration for coal seam gas at Glenugie near Grafton and Doubtful Creek near Kyogle.  It was also the company which was forced by the State Government to put on hold its plans to drill at Bentley near Casino last year.

PEL 426
The Nannas letter referred to a recent visit by two of its members to discuss matters relating to the Government's proposed buy-back of some petroleum exploration licences around the state. It referred also to the fact that PEL 426 expired at the beginning of 2014.

The letter to Mr Gulaptis continued:

Despite commitments from local members, including yourself, to work towards removing the gas-mining threat from our region, the Nannas note that Metgasco still has expectations about its future in the Northern Rivers, including the Clarence.

According to an ASIC Report Extract:
"Metgasco continues to wait for renewal of PEL 426, something that was expected in February 2014.  Metgasco has accepted all conditions and paid its renewal fee.  Metgasco notes that OCSG (the Office of Coal Seam Gas ) demands annual reporting and the payment of annual fees, despite not being able to confirm the renewal for 18 months.  Metgasco re-submitted its renewal application in July 2015 in the Government's new format requirement."

While this stated expectation may be a tactic to "up the ante" for compensation from the Government, it is still of concern to us.  Of concern is the amount of time that has passed without a resolution - or indeed any sign of progress - in resolving the matter.  We trust that this delay is not an indication that we are going to be stuck with gas-mining and Metgasco - and that the Government has caved in to the industry.

If that is the case, as we have said in the past, the Nannas, who would prefer a relaxed nannerly lifestyle, will return to campaigning strongly with other members of our community who oppose this invasive, polluting industry.

 The Nannas want effective action on achieving a gasfield free Northern Rivers.  We want PEL 426 and the petroleum exploration licences in our region rescinded. We urge you to convey our concerns to the relevant Government ministers.

Nannas delivering letter to Gulaptis' office