$3m Govt investment to expand onshore gas industry research
The Australian Government and NSW Government will invest a total of $3 million in a strategic research alliance with CSIRO and industry to expand research on the social and environmental impacts of the onshore gas industry.
"Science is at the centre of Australian industry policy, and it's fundamental to the continued development of our major economic sectors," Macfarlane said.
"It is particularly important to the development of our new industries, and this project will ensure communities have access to the highest standard of science-based research about the development of the coal seam gas industry.
"The funding will help CSIRO extend the Gas Industry Social Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) to focus on the benefits and risks of gas development in NSW.
"GISERA was originally founded in 2011 to research environmental, social and economic impacts and challenges that the onshore gas industry presents in Queensland.
"The expansion of GISERA into NSW is a key component of the Australian Government's Domestic Gas Strategy. This reinforces the Government's commitment to ensuring policy decisions are based on comprehensive scientific data and expertise.
"The issues associated with the gas industry are complex and sensitive. It is important to understand the regional impacts of gas development based on local data and characteristics.
"GISERA's NSW specific research will empower communities to assess and form their own views on the development of onshore gas based on independent scientific information that is relevant to community concerns. GISERA's governance model is designed to provide for and protect research independence and transparency and has worked very effectively in Queensland."
Roberts said "The establishment of GISERA in New South Wales responds to Recommendation 12 of the NSW Chief Scientist's Final Report.
"Through GISERA we will be able to bring the best CSIRO backed science to communities where coal seam gas development could take place.
"GISERA will ensure that debate on the establishment of coal seam gas in New South Wales is based on science and facts, not misconceptions. This will be independent scientific information that can be presented to the public at large."
Since its establishment, GISERA has studied the effects of the coal seam gas in Queensland and has made its evidence-based and peer-reviewed findings available to the residents of gas development regions.