By Natalie Croxon
PUBLIC presentations of the Namoi Catchment Water Study have been delayed for a month due to deficiencies in the draft report on the impacts of the resources industry.
The meetings were scheduled for this month, but will now be held in July to allow contractors Schlumberger Water Services (SWS) to address the gaps, although the revised dates have not been decided.
Namoi Community Network chairman Hugh Price said when the report was presented to the Stakeholder Advisory Group earlier this month, it was found it had not adequately addressed the terms of reference, which called for the potential impacts of coal and coal seam gas on the Namoi catchment to be examined.
"Everybody at that meeting ... found the re- port to be seriously deficient, not only in several technical aspects but more simply in the manner it was written; the layman or ordinary person in the community would have difficulty extracting anything from it," Mr Price said.
Mr Price said the Namoi Community Network also wanted the impacts of a 'Scenario Seven' which would examine what could happen to the catchment if mining and coal seam gas extraction moved to a "full development, Hunter Valley-type scenario" in the next 30 to 40 years to be developed and presented at the same time as the study.
Different scenarios have been written and modelled to demonstrate what could happen at different levels of development, but none look at what would occur if development were to proceed to such an extent.
Scenario Seven looks at a peak of 24 coal mines extracting 160 million tonnes of coal per annum, plus eight gas fields across the catchment in contrast to the main scenario, Scenario Three, which models a maximum of eight coal mines at any one time extracting a total of 60 tonnes per annum and two gas fields.
But the scenario which will be an addendum to the study is not due to be completed until mid August.
Mr Price said the committee wanted it brought forward and presented with the study so the public could get a more complete understanding of the possible impacts of mining.
It is not yet known if it will be presented alongside the study.