NSW Gov’t to Back Scientist’s CSG Report

NSW is set to be opened up to coal seam gas exploration as the state government accepts the industry can be managed by tighter regulation.

NSW chief scientist Professor Mary O’Kane handed down a report into the coal seam industry last month after an 18-month investigation.

Her report acknowledged CSG mining posed risks to the environment but she said those risks could be “managed” by tighter regulation, closer monitoring of the industry and more training for CSG companies.

She said the industry should be allowed to proceed under stricter laws and safeguards.

Prof O’Kane has also recommended a single independent regulator be established to oversee the CSG projects.

The NSW government is expected to announce on Wednesday it will support all 16 of the report’s recommendations.

Some of the measures are already underway in NSW.

One move will be establishing a compensation system for impacted stakeholders, including for landholders and local communities.

Last month, the NSW government extended a freeze on new CSG exploration licenses.


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