THE State Department of Planning said ‘standard procedural fairness’ was the reason why Gloucester would not be protected by legislation dictating that coal seam gas (CSG) extraction not occur within 2km of most residential areas.
AGL had already received both State and Commonwealth approval for stage one of its Gloucester Gas Project when the NSW government announced plans to introduce the new exclusion zones.
The government announced yesterday the exclusion zones would protect an estimated 95 per cent of dwellings covered by current petroleum licenses.
“When the CSG exclusion zones were proposed by the government in February 2013, it was made clear that the exclusion zones would not be enforced retrospectively to already approved projects,” a Department of Planning spokesman said.
“This is standard procedural fairness for projects which have received approval under an existing regulatory regime.
“Whether the CSG exclusion zones would apply to future development applications for additional stages of the Gloucester Gas Project would be dependent on a number of factors, including where the wells are located and the nature of the application.”
The Department has released no maps for the areas included in the 2km exclusion zones.
The land impacted by the exclusion is that zoned R1, R2, R3, R4 and RU5-Local Villages by councils.
AGL says the value of its Gloucester Gas Project has diminished more than $100 million in the past year, due largely to the exclusion zones.
The company’s 2013 financial report shows the company recorded a $343.7 million loss for its NSW gas assets.
Gloucester remains the company’s largest gas asset, but its book value fell more than $100 million from $454 million to $347.5 million.