Sep 3 2012
Not everyone accepts the “legal issues” argument re the Aquifer Interference Policy and the Strategic Land Use Policy only referring to new PEL’s. Here is a “layman’s” breakdown re the existing PELs.
Looking at the relevant sections of the Petroleum (onshore Act) it says;
PETROLEUM (ONSHORE) ACT 1991 – SECT 22 Cancellation and suspension of title
(5) No compensation is payable by the Crown for or in respect of the cancellation of, or a suspension of operations under, a petroleum title.
Cancellation or suspension of title is guided by Section 1;
(1) A petroleum title may be cancelled by the Minister if its holder, at any time during the term of the title:
(a) fails to fulfil or contravenes any of the conditions of the title, or
(b) fails to use the land comprised in the title in good faith for the purposes for which it has been granted, or
(c) uses the land for a purpose other than that for which the title has been granted, or
(d) contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations (whether or not the holder is prosecuted or convicted of an offence arising from the contravention).
As 50% of the PELs in the state of NSW have expired the PELs simply need to be reissued after the AI and SRLU policies come into force. For the remaining 50% the NSW State Government could ask that the companies voluntarily comply or simply find a reason under S (1) to expire them anyway.