NSW Government tells NSW Farmers it will implement CSG rules

Narrabri Gas Project to be subject to recommendations from 2014 report by NSW Chief Scientist

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The 16 recommendations include that landholders and residents receive "fair and appropriate" compensation for any negative effects above threshold levels caused by the industry.

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The NSW Government will implement the recommendations of a 2014 report into coal seam gas development by the state's Chief Scientist, the NSW Farmers Association has been told.

The 16 recommendations include that landholders and residents receive "fair and appropriate" compensation for any negative effects above threshold levels caused by the industry.

In the six years since, fewer than half of the recommendations have been legislated, a parliamentary committee found earlier this year.

NSW Farmers' president James Jackson said he had received an "undertaking from a junior government Minister" it will implement the remaining ones.

The $3.6 billion Narrabri Gas Project is now before the independent Planning Commission which will hold public hearings about the scheme later this month.

Mr Jackson said "they'll struggle" to implement them before the project is potentially ticked off which is scheduled to happen by the start of September.

He said the most important recommendation was that farmers be indemnified against third party impact and indeed the water, the impact on the water table and ensuring that that's minimised.

"Essentially that is the major problem cockies have got with this gas project. They're very concerned about the potential impact to the ground water resources."

NSW Farmers as an organisation doesn't have a philosophical opposition to the use of gas as an energy source but wanted strong government guarantees that they would be compensated in case of an accident, he said.

The 2014 report also recommended adopting a "robust and comprehensive" insurance policy for the industry, that the sector pay for its own regulation, that government establish an expert advisory body into the industry and that data about the industry be shared publicly through an online repository.

A spokesperson for the Department of Regional NSW said they had responded to 15 or 16 of the Chief Scientist's recommendations in the NSW Gas plan.

"Good progress is being made on the outstanding response to Recommendation Four, regarding the recovery of costs from industry," the spokesperson said.

The Chief Scientist's recommendations are the "absolute bottom line" for NSW Farmers, Mr Jackson said.

A Bill that would have put a moratorium on the industry until among other things the recommendations were implemented failed in the lower house of the NSW Parliament earlier this year after the government voted it down.

A spokesperson for Santos said the proponent had "relied on the best science" and said the project "can be developed safely and sustainably" without threat to water resources.

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