Gasfields Commissioner John Cotter.
Gasfields Commissioner John Cotter. Derek Barry

CSG: Government must balance revenue with rights

THE Queensland and New South Wales governments have a stake in the coal seam gas industry, as well as significant responsibilities when it comes to keeping the industry in line.

In Queensland the State Government has created an independent statutory body called the Queensland GasFields Commission.

Commissioner John Cotter said the commission's most important role was to ensure that both agricultural landholders and mining companies had the factual information they needed to negotiate good outcomes.

He said the State Government had identified mining and agriculture as key pillars of the state's economy.

"Come hell or high water I'm going to ensure that these two industries work to the benefit of themselves and to the benefit of the Queensland economy and community," Mr Cotter said.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the coal seam gas sector was pumping billions of dollars into the local economy and would generate significant royalty revenue, however he cautioned that it "must co-exist with the agricultural sector and better work with the rural landholders and regional communities that we depend on for food and fibre".

In NSW the State Government has formed the Office of Coal Seam Gas and a website to better inform the community about coal seam gas.

It also introduced new regulations on drilling for gas within 2km of residential zones and proposed future residential zones, as well as excluding drilling from critical industrial areas.

"Once finalised, the policy will ensure CSG exploration and production activities cannot occur in country towns, suburbs, villages and critical industry clusters across NSW," Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said.



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