20 September 2011

Committee Members of the Upper House inquiry into Coal Seam Gas will travel to Lismore tomorrow for the first of a number of public hearings into the economic, social, environmental and health impacts of the coal seam gas industry in NSW.

Committee Member Scot MacDonald, MLC said the public hearings will provide Members the opportunity to hear all sides of the debate. “Importantly, this inquiry will deliver much-needed balance to the debate surrounding coal seam gas exploration and production in NSW,” Mr MacDonald said.

“The Committee’s trip to Lismore and upcoming visits to a number of towns throughout the State will provide people in regions a platform from which to be heard.

“The public hearings will allow everyone to have their say. Community discussion should not be restricted to just one section of the community.

“Everybody’s interests need to be looked at and considered including those of landholders, the Industry and the Government.

“Understandably, coal seam gas is a very emotive topic for some people but if we’re to arrive at an outcome that satisfies all parties, discussion must stick to the facts and the science.

“Gas is an increasingly important fuel in the electricity generation mix and gas fired base load generation will be a major component in our energy supply for decades to come.

“Coal Seam Gas has the potential to deliver large-scale economic and social benefits to regional communities including thousands of local jobs and upgrades to local infrastructure. “For this reason, we must ensure the responsible development of the industry with the necessary protections in place.

“Coal seam gas is an incredibly important issue for NSW. I’m looking forward to meeting with as many people as I can and hearing their views on the industry as we travel throughout the State.”

The next public hearing will be held in Taree on 31 October 2011.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.