CSG 'game changing': NSW report
THE development of the coal seam gas industry will be "game changing" for New South Wales over the next two decades, according to Infrastructure NSW.
In its 20-year blueprint for the state, INSW argues the emergence of CSG presents regional NSW in particular with a "significant opportunity".
"(The CSG industry) will provide employment and economic growth to regional areas ... as it has done in Queensland," the report reads.
The report lists a number of strategic advantages that would come with timely investment in CSG infrastructure, including lower cost supply for gas-fired power generation; increased competition among gas producers and securing a low-cost gas supply to meet demand in NSW.
Achieving these outcomes would fuel economic growth and prosperity in NSW, the report says.
The authors also argue expansion of the industry would provide export opportunities.
"The CSG reserves have the potential to supply residential, commercial and industrial energy users," it reads.
"The vastness of the reserves has the potential to provide gas to other Australian states and for export to overseas markets."
The report makes only a brief mention of regulation, with INSW calling for a "regulatory framework that ensures the development of a safe and environmentally responsible CSG industry that co-exists with agricultural production".
On this front, INSW appears to suggest the State Government's recently unveiled regional land use policy struck the right balance.
"The Government is putting in place a series of measures to ensure that the NSW gas industry meets the safety, health and environmental requirements expected from the community," the INSW report reads.
"The planning and approval processes need to be streamlined, proportionate and timely."
Nowhere have concerns about CSG's potential risks been expressed more passionately than the Northern Rivers.