Feb 8, 2013

Federal Government gives Barry O’Farrell one week to respond to CSG concerns

The Federal Labor Government this week rejected the O’Farrell Government’s proposed assessment procedure for coal seam gas (CSG) developments, demanding the state government urgently reconsider the appropriateness of these developments and their impacts on urban and regional communities.

Federal Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese welcomed the Federal Labor Government’s decision, saying he shared the community’s concerns about CSG exploration and production in urban areas.

“The community has real concerns about CSG and the way these projects are approved and managed,” Mr Albanese said.

“There are also concerns about the cumulative impact of CSG developments, for which the O’Farrell Government has provided planning approval.

“What’s more, the approach taken by Barry O’Farrell to allow CSG exploration and production licenses in urban areas is markedly different to the approaches of other states so NSW’s planning processes will need to be addressed.

Mr Albanese added he had written to Mr O’Farrell about these concerns more than a year ago but was yet to receive a response.

“It’s critical that the community’s concerns are properly addressed. The community needs to be confident that any future decisions by the O’Farrell Government are informed by proper science, independent expert advice and in line with all Commonwealth and State regulatory processes.”

The Federal Government has given NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell a week to explain how he plans to address community concerns over the issue.