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NSW Government approves fracking near homes

CSG protest Sydney

Coal seam gas (CSG) protests are heating up in New South Wales following the State Government’s move to hand energy firm AGL approval to frack wells within a few hundred metres of homes in Gloucester last week.

AGL’s license to conduct hydraulic fracturing has been renewed for six years, and allows the company to operate a mere 200 metres from residences – far closer than the two kilometre separation required in Western Sydney.

The rush to expand coal seam gas activities in NSW has been called a “crisis response” to a claimed looming shortage, but in reality it’s a goldrush.

AGL and the government have been keen to stress that fracking has already been conducted in close proximity to homes, and that the project could eventually supply a fifth of NSW’s gas. However, CSG activities have already contaminated at least one aquifer in NSW.

“The NSW government has treated the Gloucester community and Manning Valley communities with utter contempt. [It has] changed the planning rules to allow this, with no community input, in what has been a shocking abuse of community democracy.” Former mayor of Gloucester, Julie Lyford.

Companies such as AGL are keen to cash in on the price jump when new export facilities in Gladstone connect increased domestic production to the international market.

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