'Hold new CSG drilling'

A NEW interim Senate Report released on Wednesday has called for a moratorium on new coal-seam gas drilling plans in the area of Southern Queensland and Northern NSW and for regulations governing pollution and land access to be tightened.

Boudicca Cerese from the Kyogle Group Against Gas has welcomed the report.

"It has confirmed everything we have been saying about the impacts of coal-seam gas drilling on ground and surface water, issues of disposal of waste water and concerns about the chemicals used in fracking, not to mention the lack of landholder rights," she said.

"It's also important because it's the first bi-partisan position taken at a Federal level.

"It places pressure on the State Government to take stronger action."

The report made 24 recommendations designed to introduce independent monitoring and testing of gas company claims and to give landholders more rights to reject company proposals.

Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson said many of the report's recommendations had already been addressed by the industry and the Government.

"One element of the interim report related to landholder access. Metgasco is proud of its record to date that we have about 300 different agreements with landowners, all negotiated on a voluntary basis," he said.

"Metgasco believes that the gas industry can play an important role in creating significant economic opportunities in the Northern Rivers area and in a way that allows co-existence with other land uses and protects the environment."

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