A new application to explore for coal seam gas across a huge stretch of the Mountains has been rejected by council and opposed by Blue Mountains MP, Roza Sage.
At a council meeting last week, Greens councillor Geordie Williamson revealed the new licence covers an area from Portland/Wallerawang, through the back of Mt Victoria and Blackheath and right down to Springwood.
It has been lodged by a company called Ceemac Pty Ltd (formerly Chris McPherson Consulting).
Clr Don McGregor said he was astonished at the new application.
“It beggars belief that you can contemplate having mining of any sort in a world heritage area, let alone mining of this type that has a record of destroying aquifers,” he said.
Clr Daniel Myles also weighed in to the debate.
“There can be no coal seam gas mining in the Blue Mountains local government area. That is our policy and that is how it always will be.”
Opponents of coal seam gas mining filled the public gallery and cheered as council unanimously voted to write to the premier, Barry O’Farrell, and the Resources and Energy Minister, Anthony Roberts, “seeking protection of drinking water from coal seam gas”.
The council will also ask the state government to classify the Sydney drinking water catchment as one of “strategic importance”, cancel CSG permits covering such catchment areas and support a ban on any mining in water catchment areas and within two kilometres of wetlands and rivers in NSW.
Mrs Sage told the Gazette the application was “completely inappropriate and I will be saying as much, both through the public consultation process and with direct representations to the Minister for Resources and Energy.
“I have always maintained that I will not support any coal seam gas activities within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. I will unequivocally oppose this application,” she said.
Public consultation is open until March 13 and Mrs Sage said she would “encourage anyone with strong views regarding this application to make certain their voice is heard”.