Industry welcomes Chief Scientists CSG report

INDUSTRY groups have welcomed a report by NSW's chief scientist that says the risks of CSG are real, but can be managed.

Professor Mary O'Kane released her final report on the NSW CSG industry this week, outlining 16 recommendations to ensure the safety of people and the environment.

The recommendations include a single statewide independent CSG regulator be implemented, the designation of appropriate areas for CSG extraction and comprehensive monitoring of CSG operations with ongoing scrutiny.

The professor said adhering to the recommendations would involve significant work for the industry.

"Implementing the recommendations of the review involves non-trivial tasks," Professor O'Kane said.

The report recommended the government identify specific areas where CSG extraction could take place based on geology and hydrology reports.

Energy Resource Information Centre director Steve Wright said the review demonstrated the CSG industry was not risky if safeguards were implemented.

"The science is in - unconventional gas resources can be developed safely with appropriate regulation and oversight," Mr Wright said.

Similarly, an Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association spokesman said the recommendations were in line with the direction of the industry.

Nature Conservation Council NSW chief executive Kate Smolski welcomed the report but said she was concerned it advocated a "try it and see approach" to the industry.

"This is an unacceptable way to manage the very real risks of CSG development," Ms Smolski said.


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