Coalition bets each way on CSG production

THE COALITION will not rule in or out its push for coal seam gas production in the Northern Rivers if it wins tomorrow's election.

Opposition Energy and Resources spokesman Ian MacFarlane said to meet dwindling supply and increasing demand, his priority was "to get big quantities of gas produced in NSW."

"If we are elected we are going to sit down with the producers, so the Santo's and the AGL's in particular, and we are going to talk to them about areas they can produce gas from, in the near term, say the next four to five years," he said.

"That (gas) will only be for domestic supply in NSW."

"My focus will be on leases held by AGL and Santos and Metgasco are very aware of that."

Without this gas supply in NSW, Mr MacFarlane said jobs would be lost in NSW.

Mr MacFarlane said he had met with Metgasco executives about their CSG interests, but would not divulge what was discussed.

To ensure any CSG production was safe, Mr MacFarlane said he would be encouraging the "bigger" companies to mine the CSG.

"You need people who are prepared to spend the big dollars and you are talking hundreds of millions of dollars, to make sure the wells are done properly, the pipelines are done properly and the environment is protected."

Mr McFarlane said companies like Santos and AGL would draw on their experience in negotiating with landholders and communities over CSG in Queensland.

"I am not ruling anything in or out and I am happy to meet delegations from both sides on the Northern Rivers."

Mr MacFarlane said he would visit the Northern Rivers in the first week of October.

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