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|The Illawarra Branch of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy over recent years has established an enviable reputation for organising and conducting conferences, colloquia and symposia. And this Symposium must surely enhance that reputation. The subject of the Symposium, Seam Gas Drainage has become a matter of great import- ance to the Australian Coal Industry in a comparatively short time. Our short experience being due to our operations, until recent times anyway, not being unduly affected by gas. The Australian Industry, by virtue of its mines getting deeper and higher rates of extraction being required is now encountering the difficulties with gas which have for so long been part of the coal mining scene in many other countries. Because these gas emissions affect our working conditions by way of creating hazards and affect our production by way of bringing about cessation of operations from time to time this Symposium must be regarded as being very timely out here. I must congratulate the Branch Committee on the general set,yp :o.f the programme of papers. The classification of papers into four groups and the sequence in which the papers were presented provided an excellent flow through from introduction to finality. It is not my intention to further discuss individual papers - already they have been well discussed in this forum and as I understand it outside in the early hours of the morning,|