Indigenous corporation to tap vast natural gas reserves in NSW

By Process Online Staff
Friday, 21 February, 2014

New South Wales currently produces only 5% of its domestic gas consumption, relying on gas purchased from other Australian states to meet demand. Natural gas retailers are threatening a 20% increase in the cost of gas throughout south-western NSW.

An Indigenous corporation from the state’s north is offering a business deal that could prevent a price rise and reduce NSW’s dependence on other states for its gas supply.

The Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation says it wants to share its natural gas resources with NSW in the spirit of reconciliation. The corporation engaged Energy Quest to research the possibility of gas deposits in the Clarence Morton Basin and found that the Rosella Gas Well at Bentley - owned by Metgasco - shows great potential.

“The Rosella well is a natural gas well, not a coal seam gas well. The potential of this new gas well will deliver millions back to the Githabul people,” said Trevor Close, CEO of the Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation.

“We have looked at a number of commercial opportunities across the Commonwealth for oil and gas. We believe that we have found a number of potential suitors who show the same respect for the best use of the land as we do.”

The corporation is seeking investors wishing to sign a ‘farm-in’ agreement. The corporation has already decided to farm-in with Metgasco to secure long-term employment for the Bundjalung people.

“As a native leader it saddens me to see that we have 90% unemployment at Casino, Ballina and Grafton and Lismore. I want to see the Bundjalung women involved with the gas trucking contracts delivering gas to homes,” Close said.

The corporation expects the resources sector will be surprised by its active, investor-friendly approach.

“Get used to it. We want to smash false perceptions. As custodians of sacred land, we can work just as hard with willing people such as Metgasco who have shown us the necessary respect for the land,” said respected elder Aunty Queenie Anne Speeding.

“Being custodians for land means realising its full bounty both now and for the future. Invest the time necessary, and we will get fully behind mutually beneficial strategies that produce economic prosperity for this great nation.”

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