Cancellation of exploration licences welcomed

NSW Farmers today welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to cancel three petroleum exploration licences held by Leichardt Resources because the company breached its obligations to consult properly with the local community.

The association’s President Fiona Simson welcomed Minister Roberts’ cancellation of the licences near Nowra, Rylstone and Moree.

“This is an entirely sensible step that the minister has taken and one which has been applauded by our members,” Ms Simson said.

“NSW Farmers has worked extensively on land use conflict issues with coal seam gas companies and continues to advocate on farmers’ behalf to protect them and their livelihoods.

“We congratulate the tireless efforts of local communities, groups and individuals which have kept the pressure on the government to address the issue in these regional communities.

“Some exploration companies have ignored or trivialised the need for community engagement and the decision today proves that they do this at their peril

“Today’s decision makes it clear that farmers and their communities count and that just holding a licence on its own does not give you the right to explore,” Ms Simson said.

NSW Farmers recently welcomed the NSW Chief Scientist’s recommendations for coal seam gas in NSW which included increased scrutiny on the industry.

The association has for years advocated that extractive industries cannot operate at the expense of agriculture or rural communities.

Ms Simson concluded: “We welcome strong compliance and enforcement action by the government when it comes to community engagement. It’s too easy for a company to tick a box without meaningful discussions and consideration of those who will be affected the most.”

ends

14 October 2014


Contact: Danica Leys

Phone: 02 9478 1078

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