Gas money goes to NSW farmers and locals
A new compensation scheme has been opened for NSW farmers, which will see the state opened up for new coal seam gas (CSG) mining licences.
In a move aimed at reducing gas prices, the scheme will see millions paid to affected farmers, so that gas companies can have a crack at their supplies.
News Corp media reports say all of NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane’s 16 recommendations on CSG will be adopted - including regular monitoring of the effect on water resources.
The potential for the highly-toxic chemicals used in some forms of CSG extraction to leak into aquifers is at the centre of concerns about the mining technique.
Farmers with wells on their properties will receive around $10,000 to $15,000 a year under the plan, while each well would make the mining company involved about $5 million a year.
Fees and levies will reportedly be paid by CSG companies to councils, so that they can carry out “infrastructure and repairs required as a consequence of the CSG industry”.
It is hoped that the move will reduce pressure on the issue in the heartland of local communities’ rejection of CSG mining.
Reports say the compensation will be extended to landholders neighbouring areas with CSG wells too, and will include a requirement to for resource companies to pay local communities as well.
The NSW government moratorium on all new CSG mining licences will stay in place until next October, ensuring the issue does not hamper the state election campaign early next year.
NSW Premier Mike Baird remarked last Friday: “‘Do we want coal seam gas?’ Absolutely.”