Councillor Aled Hoggett quits “opaque” Gloucester Dialogue on AGL gas project

admin | 杭州桑拿
4 Dec 2018

A GLOUCESTER Shire Councillor has quit the maligned community Gloucester Dialogue, labelling it as ‘‘opaque’’ and a ‘‘monologue directed at council’’

Councillor Aled Hoggett was instrumental in setting up the dialogue, which is chaired by NSW Land and Water Commissioner Jock Laurie and includes representatives from government, council, the community and AGL.

But late Wednesday night he revealed he had quit the Dialogue in protest, saying it had become ‘‘a means by which AGL and the State Government provide carefully selected and manicured information to the council and the community’’.

‘‘This creates an illusion of consultation where in fact none exists,’’ he said.

‘‘The process has also been completely opaque.’’

Cr Hoggett, a former chair of Mid Coast Water, said the dialogue had been set up to give AGL and the state government the opportunity to ‘‘properly consult with the Gloucester community’’ about its Gloucester coal seam gas project.

But in a scathing statement he said AGL and the government had inundated the dialogue with ‘‘one-sided technical information’’ that ‘‘systematically ignored the fundamental social and economic consequences that are likely to result from AGL’s project’’.

‘‘With some crucial issues the Dialogue was given no information beforehand but was simply told after the event,’’ he said.

The Gloucester coal seam gas project includes a first stage of 110 wells across the Gloucester basin.

The company recently began hydraulic fracturing at its Waukivory pilot project a few kilometres outside the town of Gloucester.

The site has been subject to intense protests in recent weeks, with more than a dozen anti-coal seam gas activists arrested.

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