Mountains CSG exploration denied

Members of Stop Coal Seam Gas Blue Mountains and Blue Mountains Conservation Society celebrate the rejection of an exploration licence for the Blue Mountains. From left, Caroline Goosen, Gideon Goosen, Libby Blackburn, Tony Young, Heather Hull, Jan O'Leary, Bart Beech and Derek Finter.

Members of Stop Coal Seam Gas Blue Mountains and Blue Mountains Conservation Society celebrate the rejection of an exploration licence for the Blue Mountains. From left, Caroline Goosen, Gideon Goosen, Libby Blackburn, Tony Young, Heather Hull, Jan O'Leary, Bart Beech and Derek Finter.

Local coal seam gas opponents scored a major victory last week when the state government refused an exploration licence for the Blue Mountains.

The Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) refused three applications by CEEMAC Pty Ltd. The company's Blue Mountains application covered an area from Capertee, Cullen Bullen, Portland, through to Blackheath and down to Springwood/ Winmalee and across to Mt Wilson and Bilpin.

"The OCSG has refused the three applications for the reason that the evidence supplied in support of the applications was not satisfactory," said NSW Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts.

Blue Mountains Conservation Society president Alan Page welcomed the application's rejection.

"It is a common sense decision. It was always self-evident that the application was flawed," he said.

"Flawed in that it was over vast tracts of world heritage national parks and wilderness areas, and the geology of the region puts into question the economic viability of such a venture and suggests the application is speculative in nature."

Stop Coal Seam Gas Blue Mountains spokeswoman Jan O'Leary said Blue Mountains residents had bombarded the Office of Coal Seam Gas with submissions on the application and an on-line petition had collected nearly 13,000 signatures.

"I believe this community response, particularly with an election looming, helped influence the outcome," she said.

Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage also welcomed the decision.

"There will be no change to my strong resolve against any coal seam gas activities in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

"Coal seam gas activities are permanently banned in national park areas," she said.

"I thank all those people who joined me in making a submission against this application."

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