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Gas licenses expire west of Bulli

TWO coal seam gas (CSG) exploration licences extending from Lake Illawarra to Helensburgh have expired, prompting calls by environmentalists not to allow their renewal.
The licences contain CSG wells approved for development in the Illawarra and take in parts of the drinking water catchment, including Sydney Catchment Authority Special Areas north west of Bulli.
Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore says the expiry provides the NSW Government the chance to withdraw the licences.
This is an opportunity to stop, do the research and make decisions about CSG based on facts,”Ms Moore said.
“There is now more than enough evidence that CSG mining brings risks.
“Licences should never have been issued in the drinking water catchment. Licences should never have been issued before the facts on CSG were in.
“The Illawarra project risks the drinking water of over 4.3 million people in NSW.”
The licenses are Petroleum Exploration 444 in the north and Petroleum Exploration 442 in the South – titles granted by the NSW Government that both define an area for oil or gas exploration and require that exploration activity takes place. The licences expired in April and February 2012 respectively.
Ms Moore has called on Premier Barry O’Farrell to stand by his pre-election public pledge of ensuring if elected his government would not allow mining in any water catchment area, and would ensure that leases and exploration permits ”reflect that common sense”.
“The Government should put a freeze on the CSG industry pending the results of a Royal Commission; that is, a science-first approach to an industry that demonstrably poses risks,”Ms Moore said.
Click here to Watch the Sydney rally and address by NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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