COAL seam gas developer AGL threw open the gates of its property Yellow Rock Estate last week to school children and the media to explain and show their current drilling operations.
The company holds exploration licences for the 3000 acre property which allows them to carry out drilling to ascertain the extent of methane gas in the area.
However, given the property is within the recently announced critical cluster viticulture zone, methane mining is now excluded under this new legislation.
An AGL spokesperson said the company was currently reviewing the draft amendment to understand the detail and would be submitting a response to government in due course.
They said AGL considers it essential that any final policy not only protects the environment, but does not compromise the security of gas supplies for businesses and the people of New South Wales.
"AGL has all the required government approvals to continue its exploration program of five core holes in the Hunter Valley. AGL will complete this core hole program over the next four months,” the spokesperson based in Melbourne said.
“The exploration program currently underway will continue in order to provide valuable insights for customers on available future gas resources.
“The existing exploration program already has the necessary government approvals in place to continue.”
Hunter Valley Protection Alliance spokesperson Graeme Gibson criticised the school visit and likened it to brainwashing.
“Wisely, it is my understanding Singleton schools rejected AGL’s invitation,” he said.
“When will AGL come to the realisation that the Hunter Valley vineyards are excluded from coal seam gas mining, and that no matter how much exploration they continue to do, no matter how much misinformation they drill into our school kids, no matter how many community groups they invite to watch them drilling a hole – they are finished.”