OPINION: Supreme Court's Metgasco decision a slap in face

THE NSW Supreme Court's decision to overturn the suspension of Metgasco's CSG exploration licence in Bentley is a slap in the face for the NSW Government.

Justice Richard Button ruled the decision to suspend the licence was not made according to law.

He has ordered the Minister for Resources and Energy to pay all of Metgasco's legal costs.

The Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, and the local state member responsible for Bentley, Chris Gulaptis, are now talking of appealing the decision.

Metgasco will feel vindicated by the court's decision and will want to resume its drilling activities at Bentley as soon as possible.

If past history is anything to go by, protesters will likely be setting up camp at Bentley in the very near future.

So are we back to square one on this issue? Or has the government's election results on the Northern Rivers taught them any lessons?

Considering the government trumpeted its buy back of CSG licences during the last election campaign, perhaps they should extend it to the licence that covers Bentley.

Otherwise we are in for more of the same.

Another blockade at Bentley and the government forced to make the difficult decision of sending hundreds of police officers north, at taxpayers' expense, to remove thousands of protesters.

The NSW Supreme Court has delivered a sharp rebuke to the government which is going to cost them a lot of money.

But the circumstances that led them to the suspension still remain.