Coal seam gas well.
Coal seam gas well.

State Govt outlines new rules to manage CSG across Qld

THE State has unveiled new rules on how it will manage the controversial coal seam gas industry, including a vow to randomly inspect 250 operating gas wells a year.

This amounts to less than 7% of the 3800 wells currently operating across the state.

The Department of Mines and Natural Resources put together its "Coal Seam Gas Engagement and Compliance Plan 2013" which outlines how the state would ensure good practice from the controversial industry.

Along with the random inspections, the government will audit 45% of all CSG drilling activities and inspect 80% of seismic activities from the industry to ensure the work is being done safely.

Minister Andrew Cripps said he would expect well inspections to increase as the number of gas wells increased, flagging the possibility of an annual review of the 2013 plan.

The work would be led by the CSG Compliance Unit within the government, which would take the place of what was the LNG Enforcement Unit.

Its executive director Bill Date said the group would work closely with the community, flagging at least 20 community meetings for 2013.

"This is not an industry that will be established at any cost," Mr Cripps said.

"We will continue to expect high standards and work towards the continuous improvement of Queensland's CSG industry."

Companies are expected to undertake their own inspections and audits as part of their own safety planning.

The announcement follows a push by anti-CSG campaign group Lock the Gate for the Crime and Misconduct Commission investigate accusations that bureaucrats under the former state Labor government rushed through approvals for two major gas projects in Gladstone.

These demands have been reportedly supported by Premier Campbell Newman.

Mr Cripps said this latest plan had nothing to do with those calls, saying it was the result of work begun by the department in November last year.

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