COAL seam gas developer AGL will close its John Street office in March and move its operations to an existing company office at Hexham.
The company will continue to conduct coal seam gas education sessions and tours of its exploration work on its property ‘Yellow Rock’ at Broke.
Confirming the decision AGL media manager Nicole Rizgalla said the move would make it easier for people to take on site tours she says best demonstrate AGL’s operations and coexistence within the local community and the local agriculture and viticulture industries.
“For the past three years the office in Singleton has been the main site for public information on AGL’s coal seam gas activities in the Hunter Valley and while there were a small numbers of inquiries, most of these related to retail gas and electricity services. As a result, the office lease in Singleton will not be renewed,” Ms Rizgalla said.
Hunter Valley Protection Alliance spokesman Graeme Gibson said these moves by AGL come as an unwelcome surprise to the people of Broke and to the Hunter Valley winegrowing community.
“AGL appears intent on turning the Hunter Valley into an industrial gas field, and is moving its Singleton information centre onto rural land owned by AGL near the vineyard village of Broke,” Mr Gibson said.
“Further, the land is within the CSG exclusion zone around the Broke village, and the land is also within the winegrowing Critical Industry Cluster exclusion zone.
“Under the Singleton Council’s Local Environmental Plan, it appears that business premises on rural land are currently prohibited”.
“This announcement by AGL is typical of the contempt in which AGL holds the community of the Hunter Valley. No consultation with the community, just an announcement telling the community of decisions they have already made. “
Mr Gibson said the government doesn’t want them near residential areas or within Critical Industry Clusters, such as winegrowing areas, yet AGL continues to spend its shareholders money in its attempt to force itself on the Hunter community.