Government extinguishes NSWALC’s Petroleum Exploration Applications

Government extinguishes NSWALC's Petroleum Exploration Applications     
13th November 2014

This morning the NSW Government introduced legislation to extinguish all of the State's pending petroleum exploration licence applications.  The legislation is in support of a state Gas Plan introduced by Energy Minister, Anthony Roberts today.

NSWALC's four Petroleum Exploration Licence applications in the west and central south of NSW and two Petroleum Special Prospecting Authority applications in the west and mid north coast are among those to be cancelled.

NSWALC is deeply disappointed that all six of our petroleum exploration applications have been cancelled.  However, this is a setback, rather than a block to our plans to help lift our people out of poverty by entering the resources industry.

NSWALC has invested significant time and effort in developing our Applications as part of our resource development plan and we are determined to continue on the path of similar enterprises to benefit the livelihood of Aboriginal people in the State.

The focus of our Applications were on the far west of NSW in the petroleum-prospective Darling Basin, close to the Moomba to Sydney gas pipeline, in an area of relatively small population and fewer competing land use pressures.

It must be noted that our focus in this area was for conventional petroleum natural gas, not coal seam gas (CSG).

We maintain that we have the skills and expertise to meet the requirements of the new NSW Gas Plan, recently released by the NSW Government, and are committed to re-applying for petroleum exploration licences in the future under a new framework being developed by Government.

Our Applications were aimed at not only securing the future energy needs of NSW but also helping deliver economic opportunities for Aboriginal people, who up until now have watched on as others have benefitted from the resources on our traditional lands.

In fact, NSWALC would become the first Aboriginal organisation in the State to explore for gas should subsequent Applications be awarded in the future.

Our view is that by undertaking exploration ourselves, we would be able to better protect significant sites and ensure that the culture and heritage of local Aboriginal people were respected during any resource development.

Any future exploration activities will always been guided by NSWALC's principles regarding respect for cultural heritage, the environment and local communities. Ongoing consultation with Aboriginal people and other members of local communities would be crucial as part of the process.

After years of uncertainty around petroleum exploration in NSW, both from the community and industry, we are confident that the Government's new Gas Plan will deliver opportunity for responsible energy resource exploration and development in the State. NSWALC is committed to being part of that opportunity.

Lesley Turner
Chief Executive Officer