Ricegrowers’ Association welcomes pause on CSG applications

26 Mar 2014 3:14 PM -

The Ricegrowers' Association of Australia (RGA) has welcomed the announcement this afternoon that the NSW Government has decided to put the CSG exploration licensing process on hold while it revisits the regulation of CSG activity.

RGA Policy Manager, Andrew Bomm, said the government has previously indicated that no more Strategic Regional Land Use Plans will be developed and there will be a transition to Regional Growth Plans as part of new planning reforms. It is anticipated the new Regional Growth Plans will deal with strategic planning issues including Critical Industry Clusters, however this system is not yet finalised.

Mr Bomm said the decision gives the government some breathing space to let the regulatory system catch up to the CSG industry.

"In the interests of certainty for landholders and exploration companies, the NSW Government needs this chance to get its regulatory house in order," Mr Bomm said.

"Before applications are made, everyone needs to know what critical agricultural areas across the state are off limits for CSG development. It is simply untenable to have exploration companies going through this approval process while the rice industry waits for the state government to sort out its planning system and declare critical industry status."

"This decision gives the government time to get its system worked out and avoid damaging uncertainty for farmers and the CSG sector."

Read the full media release here.