Moree Plains Shire Council coal seam gas moratorium to continue

Moree Plains Shire Council has reaffirmed its position on coal seam gas, with councillors unanimously voting to continue the long-standing ban on exploration and extraction activities in the shire.

At Thursday's council meeting, councillors made it clear that coal seam gas was not welcome in the Moree Plains Shire.

"Our water has never been more precious and we must take every humanely step possible to protect it," mayor Katrina Humphries said of her reasons for supporting an ongoing moratorium.

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Council has resolved to continue to support a moratorium on any seismic surveys, drilling or exploration for CSG within the shire, specifically including all property under the ownership or care, control and management of council.

The moratorium will continue until further study of the potential impacts of coal seam gas is completed.

Council has previously requested that the NSW government fund and undertake a full assessment of the impacts that CSG extraction could have on the sustainability of agricultural production in the shire.

The revisiting of the moratorium, which has been in place for nearly a decade, comes after gas company Comet Ridge requested a meeting with council in relation to its investigation into reactivating an exploration licence that covers the majority of the region.

Comet Ridge and Santos have joint ownership of three Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs) which cover the Moree and Coonamble, Walgett and Warrumbungles shires

"Council was contacted by a private mining company wishing to address council in the future in relation to the Petroleum Exploration Licences that apply in the area," MPSC general manager Lester Rodgers said.

"We thought this was an opportunity to review our position on the ongoing moratorium."

Council remains concerned about the potential impact of coal seam gas exploration and extraction activities in the shire.