HUNTER property prices will be scrutinised as part of a statewide study into how coal seam gas projects are affecting their neighbours' land values.
The NSW Valuer General has announced a study into how coal seam gas projects have struck land values, using sale prices to determine whether the industry is having a "material impact" on surrounding land.
Overseas and interstate research will be considered but residential property prices will be excluded after the state government introduced a two-kilometre exclusion zone around housing earlier this year.
It coincides with a multimillion-dollar push from the Australian gas industry to promote the economic benefits of natural gas.
It warns that $150 billion in new gas projects will be lost to North America and East Africa unless Australia capitalises on the natural resource.
Meanwhile, the gas industry has targeted the Hunter Economic Zone, near Kurri Kurri, for a potential coal seam gas project.
It is actively lobbying Cessnock councillors to support the project.
A spokeswoman for the Valuer General said that the new study was commissioned independently for internal use and it was not at the request of the state government.
"The office of the Valuer General analyses land values across the state and, from time to time, undertakes studies that contribute to its understanding of the NSW property market," the spokeswoman said.
The Valuer General's study follows Newcastle Herald reports that some property owners were considering legal action over losses incurred on their land values.
Among those fearing big losses were Robin and Rod Besier, whose property is sandwiched between a coal seam gas well and a proposed coalmine, south of Gloucester.
Mr Besier said that while he planned to make a submission to the Valuer General, he was unsure how beneficial the inquiry would be.
"To me [the well and mine] are not going to go away," Mr Besier said.
"We welcome the fact the Valuer General's looking at it but we're not holding out too much hope because our value is affected already."
Barrington-Gloucester-Stroud Preservation Alliance deputy chairman Steve Robinson said the study could provide some certainty for landholders.
"We're pleased because we are convinced coal seam gas and coalmining do have an adverse impact on property prices," Mr Robinson said.
"All of this is a great worry to everyone [near coal seam gas projects]."