The Singleton Argus - 4.11.2011
Special state legislation designed to attract on-shore petroleum exploration appears to give a huge financial boost to the coal seam gas industry with the industry gaining a five year moratorium on paying royalties.
Under the Petroleum (Onshore) Regulation section 286 producers are free of royalties “for the first five years from the first commercial production date’’.
It appears that changes to the 1992 Mining Act concerning onshore petroleum exploration were made by the previous Labor government in 2007. It is believed the changes were made to attract the coal seam gas industry to New South Wales as most of the development up to that date was being undertaken in Queensland.
With opponents to coal seam gas fighting the industry on many fronts the news that gas producers pay nothing for five years has been met with disbelief.
Those opposed to the industry have been questioning its impact on the environment in particular ground water but now they want to know how a multinational run industry can receive such a significant financial boost from the state government.