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Council holds firm on CSG

THE NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher has said the State lags behind Queensland in terms of the benefits it is reaping from coal seam and liquid natural gas.

However Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson says until there are clear guidelines regarding land access and water disposal processes he will be recommending Council maintain its moratorium on the controversial developments.

"Employment in the CSG industry in QLD surged by 7000 jobs in the last quarter to June 2012, bringing total industry employment in QLD to 18,500," said Mr Hartcher yesterday.

In terms of jobs for the Valley he said that was a matter for gas companies holding permits to drill in the Clarence which include Red Sky, ERM Power and Metgasco.

"Where the Queensland industry has contributed $84 million to community projects in regional Queensland, NSW CSG community contributions total just $550,000.

"To re-invigorate rural communities, we need active industries out there committing investment.

"However those industries must only proceed with the proper protections in place."

However Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said yesterday that his position on Coal Seam Gas has not changed since he voted to pass a moratorium saying he will not support the Coal Seam gas industry until some key issues are cleared up.

"Until there are clear land use policies and the water aquifer policy is adopted Clarence Valley Council will not support the CSG industry," he said.

"We have also asked that any CSG activity on Council land or any application for CSG on Council land be reported and Council be able to consider it."


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