Residents in the Urana and Boree Creek area have been given 28 days to appeal a mining company’s application for an exploration licence for oil and gas for the area.
This time frame, however, has upset University of NSW scientist Jacinta Green, who grew up in Wagga and has family in the Lockhart region.
Ms Green was quoted in the Daily Advertiser last week as saying farmers should be wary of mining companies “slipping in under the radar”.
She told the paper that despite residents struggling to recover from last week’s crippling floods, they have been given just 28 days to appeal an application for an exploration licence lodged by Energetica Resources.
If approved, the licence would give the company the right to explore more than 9300 square kilometres of land, across 140 properties, and drill two wells where they saw fit.
“Given that the central community (Urana) is currently under flood siege, how realistic is it that the community would even be aware of, or be able to respond to this application by April 5?” Ms Green asked.
“I spoke to friends, family, and local environmental groups in the area, and they were all unaware that a licence was even a possibility for the region.”
Despite Energetica Resources advertising its application for an exploration licence in three newspapers, Urana Shire Council group manager of engineering services Leigh Ashford told the Daily Advertiser that as far as he was aware representatives from the mining firm had not visited the region to consult with residents.
The paper quoted Energetica Resources staff geologist Alex Bayss as saying that consultation process undertaken complied with the regulations set out by the state government.
He said so far the company had received a few inquiries regarding the planned exploration in the Urana area, but there had been no direct feedback from landowners.
As part of the exploration, which is expected to last four to six years, a series of magnetic and aerial summaries would be completed, as well as an analysis of the existing geographical and seismic data.
Based on the results of the tests, Mr Bayss said two coal seam gas (CSG) wells would be drilled in areas that would give the
company the best overview of the minerals present.
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