Stepping on the gas – NSW plan welcomed by industry
November 13th, 2014
The NSW Government’s move to unlock the gate on coal seam gas development is a positive policy outcome for hundreds of thousands of gas consumers across the state, according to industry advocacy and research body, the Energy Resource Information Centre (ERIC).
ERIC Director Steve Wright said the plan acknowledges that the science is settled and the industry capability to responsibly manage risks is well understood.
“The plan is a big step forward – acknowledging the important role of farmers and other landowners, and setting a balance between strict regulation and the clear economic imperative of kick starting resource development,” Mr Wright said.
“The plan clearly acknowledges the need to open up NSW gas reserves – it is critical to the future of the State’s economy that local supplies are developed to put downward pressure on gas prices for businesses and households.
“This is a set of ground rules that lays out how gas companies will undertake their work across New South Wales. It is demanding, but it is at least a plan for progress.
The plan includes a framework for compensation to apply to land holders who grant access to their properties for gas development and extraction.
“This is a solid, sensible policy move that has been sought by regional communities and their representatives who have been in constructive dialogue away from the confrontational anti-development activists.
Mr Wright said the policy has been informed by extensive research and evidence about the coal seam gas industry.
“NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane spent eighteen months undertaking a detailed study of the Coal Seam Gas industry. Drawing on Australian and international experience, her final report delivered recommendations which the Government has adopted.
“It’s simply misleading for opponents to continue to make the unfounded claims that there isn’t enough scientific proof to back the development of the coal seam gas industry.
“The message to anti-development activist groups is simple – the science is in, the policy settings are clear, so let’s get on with the responsible development of New South Wales gas resources for the benefit of city, rural and regional people.”