QUESTION: Government advice on underground coal gasification

During Question Time, Mark asked the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Infrastructure representing the Minister for Energy and Mining which experts the Government consulted regarding underground coal gasification, and what was their advice. 


The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: It would be no surprise to members that many South Australians have been writing letters to the Premier, to the environment minister and also to the Minister for Energy about underground coal gasification. One constituent has provided me with the response that the Hon. Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, Minister for Energy and Mining, provided, and it includes the following line:

In recognition of the sensitivity of LCE proposal,—

that is Leigh Creek Energy—

the South Australian Government regulators sought additional advice from independent national and international USG experts prior to granting each stage of the approval.

I note that the USG is a typo: it should be UCG. The government is claiming that it has taken advice. My questions are:

1. Who are these experts and what was their advice? Will the minister make that advice available to members of the public?

2. Were any of these experts Professor Campbell Gemmell, who was the chief executive of the South Australian Environment Protection Authority and who is one of the world's foremost authorities on underground coal gasification and an advisor to the UK and Scottish governments?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment): I thank the member for his ongoing interest in this matter, one that has spanned many years now. Underground coal gasification is an issue that falls fairly and squarely under the responsibility of the Hon. Dan van Holst Pellekaan, and I will take that question on notice and bring back a reply.