AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today (Wednesday) welcomed the NSW Government approval of its exploration pilot program to flow test gas at Gloucester.
AGL has received approval from the Office of Coal Seam Gas for the Waukivory Pilot and the Environment Protection Licence from the Environment Protection Authority.
The approvals mean AGL can now commence the Waukivory Pilot to fracture stimulate and flow test four existing gas wells that are located within the stage one area of the Gloucester Gas Project.
Managing director and CEO, Michael Fraser, said the Waukivory Pilot is an important step in the development of the Gloucester Gas Project, which will secure a local supply of gas for NSW communities and businesses.
Stage one has already been through a full environmental assessment and received approval from the independent NSW Planning Assessment Commission.
That approval was upheld by the Land and Environment Court.
Stage one is also the subject of Commonwealth approval.
“All of the natural gas produced from the Gloucester Gas Project is for NSW customers and will not be exported,” said Mr Fraser.
Information from the Waukivory Pilot will enable AGL to comply with the terms of the State and Federal approvals.
AGL has been consulting with the community on the Gloucester Gas Project since 2009 and said it will continue to keep the local community informed of the Waukivory Pilot Program’s progress.
The community can engage with AGL via www.yoursayagl.com.au.
THE decision to approve four fracking wells in Gloucester has sparked outrage from local opposition groups including The Manning Alliance.
"The approval of 'fracking' in Gloucester is a tragedy of epic proportions, and I would describe it as a deliberate and wilful crime against the people of the Gloucester and Manning Valleys; a crime against our environment and our future, and it must be condemned. It is a crime against our humanity, and our civilisation." said chairman, Peter Epov.
"Our local member, Mr Stephen Bromhead, and indeed the NSW Nationals need to stand up and clearly demonstrate their support for the people in the Gloucester and Manning Valleys; they need to condemn 'fracking' in Gloucester.
"Over 85 percent of Australia's population already lives on the coast.
"This is likely to increase to 95 percent within the next 20 years, particularly as Sydney has already run out of housing land.
"This will mean literally millions of people will have to be settled along the NSW coastline and as a consequence we need, and the Government needs to preserve locations such as the Manning Valley and the Gloucester Valley for future generations.
"If nothing else, due to our location and proximity to Sydney, the Manning and Gloucester Valleys are strategically critical as significant future population circuitbrakers and must be protected, with ample supplies of clean air, water and land.
"Whilst I have always cautioned a mature, strategic and measured response to the prospect of 'fracking' in Gloucester, our two valleys are inextricably linked and there is a critical symbiotic relationship.
"There will come a time when the peoples' frustration of being ignored, their passion for their environment and their need to protect their way of life will take hold and we will have to resort to direct action.
"Should this day ever come, and it may be sooner rather than later, then I will be urging people to roll their sleeves up and participate in the defence of their way of life.
"Today I am placing all our members and supporters on alert and asking them to be vigilant and be prepared for a call to direct action," he said.