THE first round of the New South Wales government’s coal seam gas exclusion zones came into effect last week.
Announced earlier this year, the buffer is said to be a response to community concern and bans new CSG activities within two kilometres of existing residential areas across the state.
“We have put in place the toughest CSG controls in Australia,” said minister for planning and infrastructure Brad Hazzard. “Communities will now have peace of mind.”
The Lock the Gate Alliance said it is glad to see the NSW Government moving forward with CSG exclusion zones for towns and critical industry clusters, but says the devil is in the detail which hasn’t yet been released.
The Alliance has also called on the Premier to deliver on his pre-election promises by allowing the gateway panel to reject projects on prime agricultural land and by extending the exclusion zone to family homes on rural properties.
“We’re yet to see the details of the Government’s announcement, but it is good to see them moving forward with the CSG exclusion zones on towns and cities.
“That is a positive step forward, although we are awaiting confirmation as to whether it will properly protect rural villages across NSW,” said Steve Phillips, Hunter co-ordinator with Lock The Gate Alliance.
Mr Hazzard said the NSW Government is outlining greater protection for more than five million hectares of residential and farming land across the state. “This is the first time in the state’s history there has been such extensive mapping and protection for our homes and farms,” he said.