chapter  13
13 Pages

Metgasco Limited v Minister for Resources and Energy

ByCristy Clark

The Bentley Blockade came to a head in May 2014, when thousands of people gathered at the site to prevent Metgasco from delivering its drilling equipment. Metgasco appealed the suspension and submitted documentation to the government to support its argument that it had engaged in adequate consultation. Metgasco's consultation activities had been primarily confined to information provision and it had chosen not to engage with community members who were opposed to coal seam gas (CSG) drilling – instead characterising them as being misinformed about the nature of its operations. The Delegate's second decision to suspend Metgasco's Activity Approval was not separately invalid because, in asserting that a condition requiring 'effective consultation' had been breached, it took into account an irrelevant consideration, that being the results of the consultation, rather than focusing upon the attributes of the consultation itself. Metgasco sought judicial review of the Delegate's two decisions to suspend its Activity Approval before the Supreme Court of New South Wales.