CWA of NSW accuses NSW Government of ‘inconsistencies’ around Zombie PELs and negative impact on regional communities

The Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW is today calling out the NSW Government’s “inconsistency” around the selective extinguishment of dormant Petroleum Exploration Licences (Zombie PELs) across the state under its ‘Future of Gas Statement’. 

The organisation voiced support in May for the push by a NSW Independent MP to extinguish all ‘zombie’ Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELS) covering valuable agricultural land, saying it was time for confidence to be restored for the people who call these regions home and who relied on the land for their livelihoods.

Following today’s release of the Future of Gas Statement, CWA of NSW Chief Executive Officer Danica Leys said applying an inconsistent approach to regional communities was divisive, confusing and potentially harmful.

“The NSW Government claims this provides certainty - it does exactly the opposite. It is outrageous that the areas around the current Santos Narrabri Gas Project have been ear-marked for future gas development.  Surely these communities deserve some semblance of certainty after so long,” she said.

“If the Government’s own approach is good enough for other regions impacted by Zombie PELs, it’s good enough for this region. 

“The community impact of having these issues hovering is profound. Not just in terms of economic and social impact, but on the wellbeing and mental health of residents. Anguish caused by this unresolved issue is now set to continue.  

“Today’s announcement is not strategic at all and is at risk of making things worse for these communities. We are calling on the NSW Government to take a consistent approach to Zombie PELS for all areas.”


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