Coal seam gas exclusion zones come into force

The New South Wales government’s coal seam gas exclusion zones will today come into effect.

Earmarked in February, the buffer is a response to community concern and bans new CSG activities within two kilometres of existing residential areas across the state.

Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard said the move will provide increased protection to more than five million hectares of residential and farming land in NSW. 

“This is the first time in the State’s history there has been such extensive mapping and protection for our homes and farms,” he said.

The exclusion zones cover about 95 per cent of dwellings which fall with existing petroleum licences.

The state government is also considering making future residential growth areas and critical industry clusters, including the Hunter Valley’s vineyards and horse studs, off limits.

The exclusion zones will not include any horse studs or vineyards owned by gas or mining companies before its draft land-use policy was announced in September last year.

The stage two exclusion zones will see seven rural residential areas considered, including the communities of Broke, Bulga and Jerrys Plains in the Hunter Valley.

Stage two is on public exhibition until November 8.

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