CAMPAIGNERS are thrilled a coal-seam gas project for Corowa has been abandoned but still fear another company may step in.
Energetica Resources has told a Border environment group it would not go ahead with its Corowa plans.
A forum on the issue next Thursday that was expected to attract about 100 people has been abandoned.
Energetica’s licence for north and west of Corowa had created concerns the watertable could be degraded.
Corowa District Landcare’s Delwyn Clifton said Energetica’s decision would come as a great relief to “many farmers” who had raised concerns with her.
Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health spokeswoman Lizette Salmon received an email from Energetica managing director Len Diekman on Tuesday.
“My concern is that another company will say ‘aha, this land is now available’ and will put in an application,” she said.
Mr Diekman was in the Philippines yesterday and could not be contacted.
He said in his email he regretted the inconvenience caused by pulling out of the forum.
“As Energetica has recently withdrawn its application for a petroleum exploration licence, it is no longer appropriate for us to attend the information session that you are organising for coal-seam gas,” he said.
Research since carried out by Ms Salmon revealed the application was most likely withdrawn on Tuesday.
Ms Salmon said she was not saying the community mobilisation was the only reason for Energetica’s decision, “but it was a factor”.
“I think it’s a huge relief for farmers, in particular whose land and water would have been degraded and devalued,” she said.
“Given how precious our groundwater is in this region, it just seems foolhardy to be playing with it.”
Ms Clifton said it was disappointing the forum was not going ahead because “a lot of effort has gone into it”.
“Corowa Landcare wanted to present both sides,” she said.
“But I know there are Corowa Landcare members who are pleased that the company has withdrawn, and there are NSW Farmers members who are pleased.”
Ms Salmon said her group had had great trouble making direct contact with Energetica to find out more about its proposal.