Pause on coal seam gas can’t be just a political fix

MEDIA RELEASE

14 November 2011

Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham welcomed the impending announcement of a pause on certain aspects of the coal seam gas industry foreshadowed today by Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, but called on the government to ensure the pause would be a genuine moratorium and not be just a short-term political fix.

“Kevin Humphries is absolutely right that we need a pause on coal seam gas until we can guarantee it won’t harm water resources or productive agricultural land,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Greens will welcome a pause on the coal seam gas industry, but will be looking at the detail to ensure it is not just a short-term political fix to ease pressure in politically sensitive areas.

“All areas across NSW, whether it is the black soils of the Liverpool Plains, the Pilliga Forest, horticulture around the Manning, beef and dairy around the Northern Rivers, or drinking supplies in the Southern Highlands, deserve to be protected from the threat of coal seam gas.

“What is unique about coal seam gas is that the risk from exploration activity is similar to risks of production, and regulation of both exploration and production is woefully inadequate.

“The best interests for NSW is in protecting our water resources and food security, not a decade of gas extraction.  A moratorium on coal seam gas is a sensible policy.

The Greens’, along with farmers and the community have been pushing for a moratorium on the industry.  My Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill is before the Parliament right now with debate to resume on Friday week.

The Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill would place a 12 month moratorium on coal seam gas across NSW, and prohibit coal seam gas in the Sydney Metropolitan Area and Special Catchment Areas.

Information on the Greens’ Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill 2011 is here: http://www.jeremybuckingham.org/?page_id=147

Contact: Max Phillips 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916


 

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