NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer to hear community concerns about CSG during Taree meetings

13 Dec 2013

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, will visit the state's mid-north coast next week to listen to community concerns about coal seam gas development.

Professor O'Kane is continuing her independent review of CSG activities across New South Wales.

She will meet with Myall-Lakes MP Stephen Bromhead, Greater Taree City Council, Mid Coast Water, the Manning Alliance and Manning Clean Water Action Group in Taree on Monday (16 December 2013).

Professor O'Kane expects the talks will be extremely beneficial.

"This is the latest in a series of visits by the review team to regions affected by present or proposed CSG development," Professor O'Kane said.

"From previous experience, I've found these meetings to be tremendously useful in helping the review team better understand the issues of concern to communities.

"In some cases the team has been able to address those concerns on the spot, while in other cases we've taken those concerns on board and explored them as part of our inquiries.

"I'm very much looking forward to once again meeting with civic leaders and local community groups, this time to find out what CSG-related issues are of concern to those living in Taree and surrounding areas," she said.

Professor O'Kane and the independent review team have previously met with local government officials and community groups in Camden, Gloucester and Narrabri. Planning is underway for similar visits to communities in the Northern Rivers region early in the New Year.

Since the release of its initial report in July this year, the independent review has been focussing predominantly on:

  • Its study of industry compliance;
  • Completion of its study of the appropriate insurance levels for the CSG industry;
  • Understanding more about government best practice in managing coal seam gas extraction – especially through its study of international good practice; and
  • Undertaking its in-depth study of how to assess and manage risk dynamically for CSG systems.

The independent review is expected to continue until late 2014.