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NSW town council backs ban on CBM operations

World Coal,

The city of Orange in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has backed a ban on coalbed methane (CBM) operations in the region. The city council passed a motion banning CBM operations from taking place in NSW.

Councillor Jeff Whitton put forward the motion to ban CBM operations and to also enlist the support of the Central Regional Organisation of Councils for the initiative.

Whitton said the motion was passed, although two councillors voted against the proposal. He claimed the motion was put forward to help support farmers of NSW, who have repeatedly called for a ban on CBM operations.

Councillor Jason Hamling said he was not in favour of the region’s councils being pressured to implement a ban on CBM operations. “I’d want other local areas to make their own decision on what they want to do with [CBM],” Hamling said.

In March, the Government of NSW introduced a freeze on CBM exploration licenses. NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell told parliament that the freeze would allow an audit of existing CBM licenses and pending applications to be carried out before a new assessment and allocation regime is put in place.

O’Farrell has since resigned his post after announcing that a thank you note for a AU$ 3000 bottle of wine would emerge at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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