Metgasco's new court action against NSW Govt gets underway

GAS company Metgasco has launched its legal action against the State Government demanding damages over the suspension last year of its Bentley operation.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, the company said it served a statement of claim on the State Government on Friday and the case would be heard in the Supreme Court.

No date had been set for a hearing.

The company pulled out of compensation negotiations with the State Government last week and announced its intention to launch a new court action.

The company also said it wanted a judicial review to have its petroleum exploration licence around Grafton renewed and contracts finalised for drilling at Bentley and seismic testing west of Lismore (the company initially, incorrectly, said the testing would be east of Lismore).

The company also said it expected the Government to "provide all necessary police protection" of its drilling operations.

Last week's statement prompted a strong response from Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, who said the government had already offered the company a "substantial" payment - something Metgasco later rejected, saying the offer had been merely "a non-binding indicative offer", which the company's directors felt would not be accepted by shareholders.