Gas development risks can be effectively managed with the right regulation, engineering solutions and ongoing management, says the NSW Government’s Gas Plan.
Developed in conjunction with scientific evidence, the plan provides a clear, strategic framework to deliver global best practice standards and regulation for the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry, while securing vital gas supplies for NSW.
NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant said the plan set the tone for how the CSG industry would be managed in the future.
“The NSW Gas Plan adopts all of the recommendations in the Final Report of the Independent Review of Coal Seam Gas Activities in NSW, by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane,” he said.
Mr Roberts said the government listened to the concerns from the community, industry and independent experts in the CSG field and decided to accept all of Professor O’Kane’s recommendations.
“The NSW Government’s Gas Plan spells out how we will deliver best practice regulation, while increasing gas supplies and putting downward pressure on gas prices for NSW’s households and businesses.”
Other outcomes from the plan are:
- The Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs) will be reset, with the government deciding which areas will be released for exploration and to whom.
- A freeze on assessing new PEL applications will remain until the new system is set, and legislation will extinguish 16 previous applications.
- Landholders and communities will share the financial benefits during exploration and production and a Community Benefits Fund will deliver infrastructure for communities upfront.
- The government will commission an independent review of royalties to ensure it has the right settings to develop a competitive gas industry to meet the State’s supply needs.
- The government will continue to push for greater transparency of the East Coast gas market.
- Gas companies will disclose their gas supply arrangements to demonstrate the development of NSW gas reserves will benefit the State’s gas consumers.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority is the lead agency for CSG, taking over all environmental compliance and enforcement.