CWA of NSW ‘disgusted’ at renewal of PELs on prime farming land

The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW has today expressed its disgust at the NSW Government’s decision to quietly renew a number of expired Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs 1, 12 and 238) on the Liverpool Plains, in direct contradiction to the wishes of the entire community and without informing landholders.

The decision follows years of advocacy and lobbying by community groups on this issue who have been on tenterhooks awaiting an announcement and who received no information from the State Government to inform them of this development.

“Just one day after the Deputy Premier was visiting the Royal Easter Show for ‘Thank a Farmer’ day, these renewals were made. Please explain to me how exactly farmers are being ‘thanked’ by making a decision to concentrate future coal seam gas developments within some of the most productive farming areas of the state?” said CWA of NSW President Stephanie Stanhope.

“This renewal places agricultural land and water at risk. It’s as simple as that, and that is why we are so strong in our advocacy on this matter.

“We were also extremely disappointed in the underhanded way in which the information about the renewals came to light. The landholders, and this community, deserve far better. They deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy.

“By sneaking this decision into the government gazette, just before Easter, really is very upsetting for the community who, if they had doubts before, really have a clear idea now of where they stand in terms of government priorities.

“We will never rest in our lobbying on this issue. If anything, this development and the nature by which it has come to light reinforces even more why we must continue to fight for the future of this special area,” she said.


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