JEREMY BUCKINGHAM MLC - MEDIA RELEASE
3 January 2011
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has called for the land use access agreement between Forests NSW and Santos to be renegotiated after the agreement, released by Freedom of Information, revealed that Forests NSW will only receive a pathetic $2,500 per annum from every active coal seam gas well.
Eastern Star Gas (now purchased by Santos) has previously said that each well in the Pilliga project would produce revenue of approximately $800,000. A $2,500 payment per well means Forests NSW will receive only 0.3% of the revenue from each well.
"This revelation shows how little NSW taxpayers are getting for the massive amount of damage this industry is doing to the Pilliga Forest and potentially our waterways and aquifers," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
"Santos stand to make billions by pock-marking the Pilliga forest with gas wells if its proposal for 1,100 coal seam gas wells if approved. But NSW taxpayers will get little compensation . This project is a dud.
"I've seen the damage done by the pilot coal seam gas operations in the Pilliga, including massive amounts of clearing, large tracts of dead trees where coal seam gas water has spilled, unlined waste water ponds, introduced weeds, large evaporation ponds and leaking infrastructure.
"Santos plans to turn an important nature reserve into a heavy industrial zone, but pay virtually nothing to the community.
"Taxpayers will also be ripped off when it comes to royalties from coal seam gas, with a five year royalty holiday for gas in NSW. In Queensland gas royalties are 10% from day one, yet here in NSW the gas companies will pay no royalties for the first five years, and only 10% after 10 years of operations. It's a swindle," he said.
Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916