30 May 2014
NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Mary O'Kane has recommended the State Government strengthen industry insurance requirements to guard against possible environmental damage from CSG activities.
She has also recommended the NSW Government consider establishing an environmental rehabilitation fund to address unforeseen or long-term environmental impacts and remediation.
Professor O'Kane, who is continuing her independent review of CSG activities in NSW, says stricter insurance requirements are needed.
"CSG extraction is a relatively new industry in NSW and it is one that is largely under-protected," Professor O'Kane said.
"There is no standard approach to insurance coverage within the CSG industry, and the take-up of coverage by operators is uneven at best.
"There is also presently no mechanism to address unforeseen and/or long-term environmental impacts attributed to gas extraction – and that is why I have recommended the Government consider establishing an environmental rehabilitation fund, similar to that set up by the WA Government for its mining industry," she said.
The research – undertaken for the Review by Hicksons Lawyers and Piper Alderman – raised other issues, including:
Professor O'Kane's report to Government, "Environmental risk & responsibility and insurance arrangements for the NSW CSG industry", can be downloaded here.
The papers by Hicksons Lawyers and Piper Alderman can be viewed here.