DESPITE declaring residential areas "no go zones" for coal seam gas mining, Premier Barry O'Farrell has clarified his statement to exclude mining licences that have already been issued.
This means that although AGL has suspended its expansion of the Camden Gas Project, if it decides to proceed, there is no legislation to prevent mining within metres of homes.
Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said this move by the premier was a "cynical, political move" designed to get coal seam gas mining out of the spotlight of the federal election.
"If he was serious about protecting the residents, he would cancel the exploration licences," he said.
"AGL has already expressed their intent to push on with the Camden Gas Project. The two-kilometre buffer means nothing and the Greens have moved for a halt to the project until a health study and an environmental impact study is prepared."
In the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce meeting earlier this month, Mr O'Farrell said he would not risk opening up the state to billions of dollars in compensation by cancelling exploration licences issued under the former regime.
Mr Buckingham said it was the coalition government that renewed AGL's exploration licence in September.
"Under Section 22 of the 1991 NSW Petroleum Act, an exploration licence can be cancelled at any time without compensation payable to the mining company," Mr Buckingham said.
"What I would like to know is how much compensation will Barry O'Farrell pay to residents when CSG comes into their areas, affecting their health, decreasing property values, and ultimately turning their homes into toxic gas fields?"