An event has been organised by rural landholders to get a better grasp of the potential risks from CSG extraction.

The forum at Parliament House in Sydney has covered legal and scientific areas, including talks from experts in groundwater hydrogeology.

Armidale-based groundwater aquatic ecologist Peter Serov spoke at the summit this week, saying water-related industries need to be gathering data all the time, to check for significant changes.

“The longer we can have that baseline data accumulated, the better we can develop an understanding of the natural conditions for an aquifer, or for an area that will be potentially impacted, or influenced, by CSG activities,” he told the ABC.

“[We need] water chemistry, water quality, water quantity, and biodiversity associated with the water source.”

He says the rapid expansion of CSG networks has gone ahead with reference to the big picture, and that a more staggered approach is needed.

“Given the rapid onset of many of these [CSG] activities we need to have regulations in place that stipulate at least a minimum period of baseline data accumulation prior to actually establishing the wells,” he said.

“That's something that needs to be debated, but I would suggest at least one to two annual cycles, one to two years, as a minimum.”

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) said representatives from the coal seam industry were in attendance, but not formally invited.

“Some of the speakers, we would argue, are not independent, and are running an anti-CSG line [and] our main concern is open discussion about CSG development in NSW... let's encourage independent speakers, such as people from the industry, people from Queensland, who've been on the ground, just to share their experiences, because we've got nothing to hide,” Eastern Australia Chief Operating Officer for APPEA, Paul Fennelly, says.

Hugh Price, Chair of the Organising Committee for the CSG Science and Law Forum said only parliamentarians were individually invited, and that other invitations were open to all interested parties.