A flurry of applications to explore for coal seam gas in the heart of Australia’s rice growing country in southern NSW has the industry concerned.
The Ricegrowers’ Association is applying to the NSW Government to have its sector recognised as a ‘critical industry cluster’, so it can be protected from future CSG activity.
The association’s executive director Ruth Wade is confident it can meet all of the criteria to ensure rice farms aren’t disturbed by potential exploration.
“So in the Hunter Valley, for instance, viticulture and the horse breeding and training industries have been declared critical industry clusters.
“We would regard the purpose-built intensive irrigation areas as being critical industry clusters, and if we need to establish that industry by industry, than that’s what we need to do.”
Grainger Energy has five applications for CSG exploration licences in the southern and western Riverina.