Metgasco board survives vote

METGASCO's chairman and non-executive officer yesterday survived a vote which saw a minority group of disgruntled shareholders attempt to unseat them.

Yesterday, 54% of Metgasco shares were counted in a vote that failed to remove current chairman Nick Heath and non-executive officer Greg Short in favour of three new directors.

However, Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson said Mr Heath and Mr Short managed to hold onto their positions by a "countable majority".

"A very large number of shareholders were voting and one thing that I took from today's meeting is that there is a very strong belief of what Metgasco can add to the Northern Rivers," Mr Henderson said.

"There is a very common focus going forward and we will be consulting with major shareholders in the future to get the best of their ideas."

In a speech that saw Mr Heath keep his job, he told shareholders in his chairman's address the last two years had been "unheralded in terms of the challenges they have thrown up for Metgasco and its shareholders".

He said delays in exploration and financial gain was due to a series of factors that the current board had worked to overcome.

"Your board has done everything needed to address these challenges," Mr Health said.

He attributed political reluctance to "approve any activity that was later found to be environmentally sensitive", the anti-CSG movement and the Federal election for delays and scrutiny on the gas industry.

One of the shareholders who wanted to unseat the board, John Vaughan, said Metgasco could have been exploring conventional gas wells in Casino during the moratorium on new CSG field activity despite the lack of community support for CSG mining in the area.

"Today the shareholders expressed their frustrations with the current board for failing to investigate what was explained as the biggest gas find in NSW (Rosella-1) in a more timely manner," Mr Vaughan said.

He said despite the fact the vote fell with the board, "a strong message from the shareholders had been sent to the board about their unhappiness regarding the slow development of the exploration of conventional gas".

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