CHAIRMAN of the Manning Alliance, Peter Epov met with member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead to discuss a range of issues concerning the group.
These included, the Landholder Rights meeting held by the Alliance at the Wingham Town Hall in July, proposed NSW Government Amendments to the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 and PEL 476, the CSG exploration licence, which covers over 10,000 square kilometres including the entire Manning Valley.
"The meeting with Mr Bromhead was beneficial and constructive. Mr Bromhead was informed on the core issues and is clearly sensitive to land holder rights and particularly to the landholder's right to say 'No to mining and exploration companies'," Mr Epov said.
During the course of the meeting the alliance pointed out that PEL 476 expired in November 2012, and that Pangaea Oil and Gas Pty Ltd has now applied for a renewal of this exploration licence for a further three years.
"We have called on Mr Bromhead to investigate the renewal of the licence and to have the renewal of this licence refused," Mr Epov said.
"This community has just lived through a period of 15 months, where we have been tormented with the prospect of a totally unnecessary and unjustified High Voltage Transmission Line, which now has been abandoned, we don't need to be terrorised with the prospect of a CSG exploration shroud casting its shadow over the Manning Valley."
Mr Epov said the NSW Government needs to appreciate that there are severe consequences on communities that are covered by CSG exploration licences, where people's lives and their assets are at stake.
"These licences should be issued judiciously, as they have serious implications on regional economies, tourism, and land values, in addition to the known environmental and social consequences.
"They should not be used as revenue raisers at the expense of communities, and people should not be forced to live in a climate of fear; waiting for that knock on the door that a mining company may be coming on to their property for CSG exploration, we have already seen the social devastation in Gloucester," he said.
"Clearly, it is time to recognise that the Manning Valley is situated in the Manning River Catchment and should not be exposed to CSG exploration licences and this is why we are gratified that Mr Bromhead has agreed to take up the challenge and will write to the Minister about this issue.
"I believe that the entire community needs to support Mr Bromhead in his efforts to have this exploration licence denied and I am calling on all members of this community to contact him and encourage him to use his best endeavours," Mr Epov said.
"To overthrow this exploration licence from the Manning Valley would be a tremendous achievement, and one that would provide an enhanced and conducive environment for our businesses, our economy and our way of life."
Peter also assured that the alliance will maintain its campaign for fair and equitable landholder rights in the 21st Century.
"We will be lobbying with the NSW Premier and the NSW National party and others, to secure the incontrovertibly right for landholders to refuse access to mining and exploration companies desirous of entering their properties," he said.