Senate Inquiry Hansard NSW Bureaucrats
Chair: “It seems to us, or to me in particular, that the evidence we have received, even from the previous witnesses, is almost unbelievable. In five or six years this industry—and it is seen as a short-term industry- (35- or 40-odd years to fill a gap)—can and could have in some areas, consequences that some of the approvals that have been given were not thought through, especially in Queensland.”
“What is the view of the New South Wales department in relation to what you do with some of the byproducts of the coal seam gas? We took evidence this morning of one company that has 1,200 wells, and
is going to go to 7,000 wells and have a stack of three million tonnes of salt. They say they will find a safe deposit for that three million tonnes of salt. They are going to give us notice of where they think they can put it. What was the term they used?
Senator EDWARDS: Licensed land fill.
CHAIR: Yes, ‘licensed land fill’. Would the department be happy to have a licensed land fill somewhere with three million tonnes of salt sitting in it with no potential use for the interminable future?”
“CHAIR: Your aquifer interference policy: could you table it and describe it for us?
Mr O’Neill: The aquifer interference policy is not a publicly available document yet.
CHAIR: But how can you give approval to mining based on an aquifer interference policy that is not a public document? There are some places in New South Wales where there are mines approved, so doesn’t that make a farce of what you have just said?
Mr Paterson: I think what I said, Senator, is that the New South Wales government is developing a framework which incorporates the elements of the aquifer interference policy.
CHAIR: So have you stopped giving approvals till you get that?”
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Senate Inquiry Hansard 2011-09-09 NSW bureaucrats