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MEDIA RELEASE: Nationals cynical electioneering won’t protect the Northern Rivers

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers says today’s non-announcement by the National Party, calling for the Government to buy back Petroleum Exploration Licence 445, which covers much of the Lismore electorate, will not protect the Northern Rivers from unconventional gasfields, and have called on the National Party to respond to overwhelming community will and promise to keep the Northern Rivers gasfield free forever.

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Regional Coordinator Dean Draper said, “Today’s announcement has absolutely no substance, it’s a weak commitment to negotiate after the election. More empty promises, more smoke and mirrors.

“There is still time for the Liberal-National Government to keep faith with the people of the Northern Rivers, and match promises by the Greens and the Labor Party to make our region off-limits to gas mining. Anything less than that is a betrayal of the will of the people, which is plainly and overwhlemingly in favour of a gasfield free Northern Rivers.

“This Petroleum licence was renewed by the Government just two weeks after they released their Gas Plan late last year. They missed the opportunity then to do what their constituents demand, and they’re missing it again now.

“Even if the owners of PEL 445 licence agree to a buy back, allowing the industry to get a foot hold anywhere in the Northern Rivers will put the entire region at risk as they expand their network and develop infrastructure to move the industry forward in the future.

“The boundary of Metgasco’s PEL 16 is just fourteen kilometres outside of Lismore, and Metgasco have clearly stated that they want to resume activities immediately if the outcome of the pending court case finds in their favor.

“The role of government is to act in the public interest. They have the power to make the Northern Rivers gasfield free but they just won’t do it. It’s glaringly obvious that they plan to push ahead with this industry and they are refusing to respond to the will of the people.” he said.

ENDS

For comment : Dean Draper 66671262 or 0423753748 (no mobile at home)

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