EPA and Narrabri community working together

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and members of Narrabri's Community Consultation Committee (NCCC) participated in a consultative workshop on 8 November 2016 to consider ways of managing financial risk associated with environmental liabilities in the NSW gas sector.

This workshop was one of three workshops held by the EPA with stakeholders, including community, non-government organisations and industry, to explore the financial considerations associated with the gas industry.

Examining various approaches to the provision of 'appropriate insurance and environmental risk coverage of the CSG industry to ensure financial protection short and long term' was a recommendation of the 2014 NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer's Final Report of the Independent Review of Coal Seam Gas Activities in NSW.

Ms Dwyer said undertaking the workshops before a draft policy had even been developed would also have the long term benefit of reducing the overall time taken to create a policy through the improved stakeholder relationships and ability to directly follow up options suggested by community groups.

EPA Gas Regulation Branch Director, Carmen Dwyer, said the workshop provided an opportunity for the EPA and NCCC to demonstrate their established, high level, working relationship and investigate a range of options together before a policy is considered.

'The EPA values the insights offered by close and early consultation with community representatives,' Ms Dwyer said.

Stakeholders involved in the workshops said they welcomed the opportunity to learn more about existing liabilities legislation and discuss concerns and options for the future well before a policy was developed. NCCC members, and the EPA look forward to considering more options and discussing these further at future consultation sessions.

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