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Santos declines NSW Government request for more info about CSG project.

Jamieson Murphy - Northern Daily Leader

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SANTOS has been slammed for refusing to provide the NSW government with the requested information about its coal seam gas development near Narrabri.

The gas giant recently responded to the concerns of various organisations, including 14 government agencies, in its Supplementary Response to Submissions.

In the report, Santos refused more than a dozen specific requests for information and commitments from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the Rural Fire Service, and Narrabri council.

Narrabri farmer and Lock the Gate spokeswoman Sally Hunter said the company had refused the RFS's request to not flare gas during catastrophic bushfire conditions.

"This shows an extraordinary and reckless disregard for the safety of our community," she said.

"Santos has also refused the EPA's request to assess the capacity of landfill facilities to accommodate huge volumes of salt waste with potentially high concentrations of metals and other contaminants.

"It has refused Narrabri council's request that it obtain environmental insurance for offsite and long-term environmental harms, despite this being a recommendation made by the NSW Chief Scientist for all coal seam gas operations."

An NSW Department of Planning and Environment spokesperson said the company's response was being reviewed, in consultation with the relevant government agencies.

"In finalising its assessment, the Department may request additional information from Santos before referring the proposal to the Independent Planning Commission, which will make the final decision," they said.

"The Department wants to ensure a rigorous and comprehensive assessment is undertaken, given the complex nature of the application and the high level of community interest."

Santos did not respond to the Leader's request for comment.

How You Can Become financially Flexible in 2019

Julian Parsons - Sydney

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As the federal elections approach and the financial year comes to a close, now is a good time to assess the state of your finances and plan your route towards financial stability. Whether you are planning your financial future or retirement or are thinking of the short and long-term financials of your business, financial flexibility is important to have in order to be secure. 

NSW water woes worsen with river to dry up as tomato town faces crisis

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The drought gripping much of NSW is tightening, forcing authorities to prepare to cut flows along a major river in the north west, while job losses loom as towns in the Northern Tablelands start to dry.

WaterNSW on Monday will announce that unless conditions improve, regulated flows along the Macquarie River below the town of Warren will cease from early spring to prioritise water supplies for towns and key users.

ICAC seeks comment on lobbying conduct and regulation in NSW

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The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is seeking public input as part of a new investigation it is conducting into the regulation of lobbying, access and influence in NSW (Operation Eclipse).

The Commission released a discussion paper today, Enhancing the democratic role of direct lobbying in NSW, which, amongst other matters, addresses principles of transparency, integrity and fairness concerning or associated with lobbying practices in NSW. The Commission engaged academics Dr Yee-Fui Ng, Senior Lecturer, Monash University Faculty of Law, and Professor Joo-Cheong Tham, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, to prepare the discussion paper, which invites respondents to address questions based around the main principles.

The discussion paper is appended to an introductory paper, The regulation of lobbying access and influence in NSW: a chance to have your say, which also explains how to make a submission. In this paper, ICAC Chief Commissioner the Hon Peter Hall QC notes that lobbying, when conducted on proper lines, can have beneficial outcomes. However, it could also be argued that “lobbying might lead to decisions by government and/or public officials in circumstances of unjustified secrecy, where processes are sometimes criticised as lacking transparency or accountability, while particular groups or the public generally are denied the opportunity of being heard.”


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