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CBM urgent priority for Australia, says government

Australia’s incoming Liberal-National coalition government has made clear that development of the gas industry, particularly the removal of barriers in the coal-bed methane (CBM) sector, will be an urgent priority

Incoming federal industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, is taking a no-nonsense approach in order to drive the unconventional sector forward. The minister says he will be pushing particularly hard to progress the CBM business in gas-short New South Wales (NSW), where increasing uncertainty surrounding regulations has ground the industry to a halt over the past 18 months. Locally produced CBM could help counter rising east coast gas prices, predicted to hit A$9 ($8.4) a gigajoule (GJ) by 2017. This compares to A$3-4/GJ just two years ago. Opposition to CBM operations, as well as regular policy changes, has so far curtailed development in NSW. Community groups cite concerns over land access and

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