Opposition has arisen over AGL receiving approvals for its Gloucester coal seam gas pilot program.
Yesterday the Office of Coal Seam Gas gave the greenlightto AGL's Waukivory pilot program, which means it can now start fracking for gas flow for its four existing well located within the Stage 1 area of the Gloucester Gas Project.
Michael Fraser, AGL's CEO, said the pilot program is an important step int he development of the Gloucester Gas Project, and will help to secure a local gas supply for NSW.
"We welcome these approvals from the NSW Government," Fraser said.
Stage 1 has already been through an environmental assessment and received approval from the independent NSW Planning Assessment Commission.
However locals and the Greens are up in arms over the approvals.
Groundswell Gloucester chair Julie Lyford put the government on notice, calling for a moratorium on fracking until more independent research had been done, the Newcastle Herald reports.
‘The fact that they are ignoring very serious, professional and highly credited scientific voices across Australia and disregarding all of the major findings around the world about the dangers of CSG extraction is breathtaking,’’ she told the Herald.
Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham condemned the approval, saying it is the restart of fracking in NSW.
This is a clear signal that the Liberal and National parties are pro-fracking and pro-coal seam gas,” Buckingham said.
“This is a dark day for NSW with the Baird government giving the green light to fracking once again, including near people’s homes,
“It’s outrageous that the people of Gloucester will have fracking within a few hundred metres of their homes, while people in Western Suburbs enjoy a two kilometre buffer."
As part of protests against the approvals activists have already set up signage outside of AGL's Sydney headquarters against CSG and fracking in Gloucester.
images: Twitter – @maxphillips