AGL ENERGY is committed to its upstream interests in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley, despite selling a property in Milbrodale, about 97 kilometres north west of Newcastle.

Speaking at a meeting of the local Hunter Community Consultative Committee (HCCC), the company’s general manager of upstream gas, Mike Moraza, said the company had a long-term commitment to the Hunter Valley.

“We are selling the Milbrodale property because it does not fit into our long-term agriculture plan and we inherited it when buying Sydney Gas in 2009,” he said.

“There’s a lot of talk locally about the economic pressures the Valley is currently facing and together with the local AGL Hunter team we are looking at ways to develop our project to bring employment and other benefits to the local community,” Mr Moraza said.

AGL will continue to grow quality grapes and produce high quality wine from its Spring Mountain and Yellow Rock properties and fund the annual Wine Excellence scholarship program which supports winemakers.

Mr Moraza confirmed that AGL’s current groundwater monitoring program consisting of 42 monitoring bores across AGL properties around Broke and Bulga will continue.

“We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and I want to assure the local community that we are rigorously and regularly monitoring the groundwater in the area and will continue to do so,” said Mr Moraza.

AGL’s exploration activities have the necessary approvals in place for work to continue, the company added.