FRACKING: RTI documents expose gas firm’s ‘serious failures’ | News Mail

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NEW Right to Information documents have revealed a gas giant looking to renew its only remaining fracking permit in the Wide Bay Burnett may have breached conditions of its work program for six years.

RTI documents obtained by Lock the Gate in December have indicated the potential non-compliance arose after Blue Energy failed to conduct work in the region since 2011.

According to briefing notes from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Blue Energy was required to carry out “on-the-ground activity” in order to continue holding exploration licences.

Despite the condition, however, Blue Energy failed to complete its work program, regarding its “lack of social licence as an obstacle to conducting authorised activities”.

Lock the Gate spokesperson Vicki Perrin said the new documents indicated Blue Energy had not complied with its work plans and did not have a social licence to operate in the Wide Bay Burnett region.

“The most important thing for companies to note is that the lack of social licencing means that nobody wants it (fracking) here,” she said.

Social licence is a community’s willingness to accept an industry and is typically gained through local donations and a company’s general involvement with residents.

Ms Perrin told the NewsMail the “very serious failures” were another reason the State Government shouldn’t renew Blue Energy’s only remaining permit in the region.

“They have to be working to continue having those permits here, which they haven’t done in years,” she said.

“It’s time for the Queensland Government to step up and apply some standards to the gas industry.”

Previously Blue Energy held three exploration licences for thousands of square kilometres in the region – two of which expired on December 31.

One current licence remains and is due to expire on March 31, however, a Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy spokesperson last week said the permit would not be renewed. The company did not return attempts for comment from the NewsMail yesterday.


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