New home buyers left out of the loop

A SCENIC Hills Association member has condemned Camden Council for not giving residents and potential home buyers enough information about possible coal seam gas mining in the region.

Land on the former El Caballo Blanco and East Side, Gledswood Hills is on public exhibition in relation to a rezoning application from property developers.

Jacqui Kirkby said Camden Council should have included an exploration license approved for AGL in 2007 for the area in the development control plan drawn up for the rezoning application.

"I think Camden Council needs to make the community aware . . . about what is being proposed," she said.

Ms Kirkby said a Camden Council submission put to an upper house inquiry into coal seam gas mining supported the industry.

However, Camden Council acting strategic planning manager Chris Lalor rejected Ms Kirkby's claim.

He said the council's submission had conditions attached to any approval of coal seam gas mining.

"Council's submission to the inquiry also stated that given the serious gaps in knowledge of true effects of the coal seam gas operations it requested that an independent arbitrator be engaged to undertake a thorough review of the existing science," Mr Lalor said.

He said the council was not required to include information about coal seam gas mining in the development control plan and that council was not the consent authority for mining applications.

Camden MP Chris Patterson criticised the former Labor government for approving the exploration licence in the the first place.

He said the government would use the inquiry results to examine coal seam gas mining.

A spokeswoman for AGL said: "AGL is committed to continuing our community engagement."

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