Blueprint recommends CSG mining

THE development of the coal seam gas industry will be "game changing" for New South Wales over the next two decades, Infrastructure NSW (INSW) predicts.

In its 20-year blueprint for the state, INSW argues the emergence of CSG presents regional NSW, in particular, with a "significant opportunity".

"(The CSG industry) will provide employment and economic growth to regional areas... as it has done in Queensland," the report, released this week, reads.

The report lists a number of strategic advantages that would come with timely investment in CSG infrastructure, including lower cost gas-fired power generation and increased competition among gas producers.

Achieving those outcomes would fuel economic growth and prosperity, the report says.

The report's authors also argue expansion of the industry would provide export opportunities for NSW.

"The CSG reserves have the potential to supply residential, commercial and industrial energy users," the report says.

"The vastness of the reserves has the potential to provide gas to other Australian states and for export to overseas markets."

The report makes only a brief mention of regulation, with INSW calling for a "regulatory framework that ensures the development of a safe and environmentally responsible CSG industry that co-exists with agricultural production".

On this front, INSW appears to suggest the State Government's recently unveiled regional land use policy has struck the right balance.

"The government is putting in place a series of measures to ensure that the NSW gas industry meets the safety, health and environmental requirements expected from the community," the report says.

"The planning and approval processes need to be streamlined, proportionate and timely."


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