AN inquiry in to what action has been taken to make the coal seam gas industry safe has been described as a "train wreck for the government".
The parliamentary inquiry grilled state government officials, questioning how they had implemented the 16 recommendations made by the NSW Chief Scientist five years ago to allow the coal seam gas industry to operate safely.
In its written submission to the parliamentary committee, the NSW government stated it had "completed" 14 of the recommendations, with the remaining two "in progress".
However, independent politician Justin Field said public servants were "unable to answer some of the most basic questions".
"I would say from the evidence we heard, that the government has not fully implemented the recommendations," Mr Field said.
"Many of them haven't implemented fully and others they have walked away from entirely.
"In her report, the Chief Scientist said the recommendations were required before the industry could process safely.
"They've failed to deliver and now there are big questions around whether the regulation framework for coal seam gas is sufficient."
Mr Field said the government had walked away from four of the recommendations, including the suggestion to establish a standing expert advisory body on coal seam gas.
"They've walked away from what I see as a key recommendation, with no explanation," Mr Field said.
The government also claimed it had followed the advice to make the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the lead regulator for gas activities.
However, Mr Field said "all questions related to EPA action on the ground were taken on notice".
"From my perspective, the government was unable to answer the most basic questions, and that raises concerns about coal seam gas and the Santos project," Mr Field said.
The Leader recently revealed the inquiry was delayed by about a month, when in an unprecedented move, public servants refused to appear before the committee.
The inquiry was postponed while the witnesses were re-invited and warned further powers such as summons could be used.