Petroleum exploration licences (PELs) 16, 13 and 426 cover an area of approximately 4,556 km2, around the regions of Grafton and Casino.  The US Environmental Protection Agency found earlier this month
Petroleum exploration licences (PELs) 16, 13 and 426 cover an area of approximately 4,556 km2, around the regions of Grafton and Casino. The US Environmental Protection Agency found earlier this month "that hydraulic fracturing poses minimal risk to groundwater resources". David Nielsen

Nats 'loyal to CSG'

FORMER Greens candidate for Lismore Adam Guise claims MP Thomas George has pushed for a no-vote on cancelling Coal Seam Gas (CSG) licences so the public wouldn't see where his "true loyalties" lie.

Two weeks prior to the March election Mr George said his policy would be to buy back Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) 445, covering 80% of the region.

On Friday Mr George stopped a National party vote at a private conference on the cancellation of all seven licences in the region, to reflect that policy. He was supported by the majority of MP's.

"If it went to vote you would see where his loyalties really lie," Mr Guise said.

Mr Guise said when PEL 445 is cancelled, the remaining wells will be ready for hydraulic fracturing.

"All the discussion is on PEL 445, but the advanced wells are under the 16, 13 and 426 PELs.

"There are about 60 - 70 historical wells which Metgasco can turn at any time."

Mr George has previously told the Tweed Daily News it is unknown how long the government will take to resolve a successful compensation claim by Metgasco for the "sudden" suspension of its licences, around the time of elections.

He also told the Tweed Daily News there were challenges in funding the compensation.

Mr Guise labelled the court case leading to negotiations, as well as Mr George's PEL 445 election promise, a "smoke screen" and claimed the National party "want to roll CSG out across the state".

PEL 16, PEL 13 and PEL 426 cover an area of approximately 4,556 km2, around the regions of Grafton and Casino.



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