17 Feb 2014
The Chief Scientist & Engineer has met with the Country Women's Association of New South Wales in Sydney to discuss her ongoing review of the state's coal seam gas activities.
Professor Mary O'Kane was invited to address the CWA of NSW Executive Committee at the organisation's head office in Potts Point.
She updated the group on the progress of the independent CSG review and fielded questions on issues of concern to rural communities.
Professor O'Kane said it was a fruitful meeting.
"The CWA of NSW has a long and proud history of fighting and lobbying to improve conditions for rural communities – through better social activities, and educational, recreational and medical facilities – particularly for women and children," Professor O'Kane said.
"As a representative body, the CWA of NSW is clearly worried about the impact of CSG on its members' livelihoods, and rural communities generally.
"Today's meeting provided me an opportunity to update Committee members on the work my team has done to date, what we are doing now, and what work we still have in the pipeline, and through them, get that information out to rural communities.
"However, it was also another chance for me to hear what it is about CSG that continues to trouble our rural communities – and again the main concerns were centred on the potential impact on water, particularly groundwater; the lack of scientific data currently available; exclusion zones; and the cumulative impacts of CSG and other industries on the environment.
"I commend the CWA of NSW on the representative role it has taken on this issue and thank Committee members for the opportunity to speak with them about the review and their concerns," she said. "I look forward to working with the CWA of NSW as the review continues."
The independent CSG review is expected to run until late 2014.