Murray Goulburn enters coal seam gas debate

Milk processor, Murray Goulburn, is set to release a policy on coal seam gas, the first large agricultural company to take on the controversial issue.

According to weeklytimesnow, Murray Goulburn has been looking into the impact of gas exploration since June.

A year ago, the Victorian government issued a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration licences and the use of hydraulic fracturing, but there are already 11 coal seam gas exploration licences in Gippsland, which covers most of the region's dairy production areas.

Murray Goulburn general manager for shareholder relations Robert Poole said the company is working with stakeholders in the dairy industry and will come up with a position on the matter in the next few months.

Earlier this year, the NSW government approved a two kilometre exclusion zone for new coal seam gas exploration and production activities around residential areas.

The announcement was welcomed by NSW Farmers, but the group said more can be done.

It wants mining of other coals and minerals to be including in the exclusions – not just coal seam gas mining. It also says the policy should apply to projects which haven't yet received approval, and that the buffer should be applied to all areas zoned as residential rather than focusing on population numbers.

NSW Farmers' president, Fiona Simson, said "NSW Farmers has consistently advocated for a measured approach to mining and CSG policy. We believe there are places in this state that are too priceless to put at risk through mining and gas activities."


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