Coal seam gas transition period must have teeth

MEDIA RELEASE

5 May 2011

The Greens spokesperson on Mining, Jeremy Buckingham welcomed Minister for Resources and  Energy, Chris Hartcher’s announcement that the transition period for coal seam gas and mining has come into effect but is disappointed that no details have been released.

“The Greens call on the government to ensure the transition period has teeth by declaring a moratorium on the coal seam gas industry and holding a Special Commission of Inquiry to investigate the social, economic and environmental effects of the industry,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham MLC.

“I’m concerned that the transition period won’t affect projects currently being assessed, including the AGL Camden project which will see 70 coal seam gas wells creep into the Scenic Hills District near Campbelltown and the Sydney metropolitan area for the first time.

“There are major questions that need to be answered about definitions of strategic agricultural land and how new aquifer interference regulations will work.

“There must be genuine community consultation on the new standards such as the proposed aquifer interference regulation which would govern the rules around drilling into underground water sources.

“Minister Hartcher can’t fall into the trap of the last Government and ignore the views of the community. These new rules should be developed in an open and transparent matter and should go out for public consultation.

“We know the Coalition had the help of the Minerals Council in drafting their policy, its time those most affected by the development of coal and gas mining, the community, has a say in shaping the new rules,” said Mr Buckingham.

 

Contact: Max Phillips (02) 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

 

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