A SCATHING parliamentary report has revealed the NSW government failed to heed advice about regulating the coal seam gas industry, implementing just two of the 16 recommendations made to it five years ago.
The report was tabled by a parliamentary committee, which investigated if the government had listened to the NSW Chief Scientist's advice about how to safely manage the industry.
Independent MP and committee member Justin Field slammed the government's failure.
"The government unashamedly tried to mislead the committee and the public," Mr Field said.
"Under questioning, their assertions that recommendations had been implemented fell apart."
The only recommendations the government implemented were mandating CSG personnel have training and certification, and a plan to manage legacy matters, such as requiring old wells to be covered.
"The government has had 5 years to fix this and they've failed," Mr Field said.
"Critical recommendations around assessing cumulative risks, ensuring landholders have access to appropriate insurance against long-term risks and establishing an expert standing advisory body have not been implemented at all," Mr Field said.
"Right now NSW taxpayers are paying $3.75 million a year to regulate the industry when the clear recommendation of the Chief Scientist was that this industry should pay the costs of its own regulation."
We're calling for an immediate halt to any further assessment of the Narrabri CSG project in light of this scathing report, which found landholders are left to bear the risks of CSG because the industry is uninsurable.Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson, Georgina Woods
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said the report's findings were "deeply troubling", especially at a time when gas giant Santos was seeking approval for its 850-well development near Narrabri.
"We're calling for an immediate halt to any further assessment of the Narrabri CSG project in light of this scathing report, which found landholders are left to bear the risks of CSG because the industry is uninsurable," Ms Woods said.
"The NSW government must not approve the Narrabri project when we now know that the measures that the Chief Scientist said were needed to control CSG are not in place."
The report recommended the government immediately implement the remaining 14 guidelines in full.