CSG protests, criticisms put NSW Govt under pressure

WIDESPREAD hostility towards the coal seam gas industry has forced AGL Energy to suspend its application to drill 66 wells in Sydney's west.

Protest action across the state and heavy criticism from Federal MPs this week has placed the NSW Government under increased pressure to review its CSG protocols.

In the state's north, hundreds of protestors formed blockades and several arrests were made at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek where Metgasco workers had been attempting to drill.

The AGL project, dubbed the "northern expansion", would see thousands of homes impacted by drilling in the Camden and Campbelltown regions.

AGL spokesman Mike Moraze said in a statement on Friday the company understood there were "some members of the community who are concerned about the current proposal" and a suspension would allow those concerns to be addressed.

The announcement followed a warning from Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke that the State Government could miss out on more than $50million in research funding if it did not pay attention to science.

Federal Independent MP Tony Windsor criticised the O'Farrell Government this week for following in the footsteps of the former Labor government by "failing the community confidence test".

He said NSW should be subject to the same process as other states and it was in the interest of the resource sector to be part of a protest which was "transparent, rigorous and scientifically objective".



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