O’Farrell sides with miners and abandons election promise to protect farms & water

MEDIA RELEASE

11 September 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining and agriculture Jeremy Buckingham today slammed the O’Farrell Government for abandoning its pre-election commitment to rule out certain agricultural and other sensitive areas from mining and gas extraction in its Strategic Regional Land Use Policy.

“Barry O’Farrell has declared war on the farmers of NSW and completely ignored their concerns,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Despite his clear election promise to protect farms and water he has given the green light to the coal and gas industry.  Not one inch of NSW will be off-limits to mining and gas development – instead a gateway will provide a pathway to mining.

“The community expected the O’Farrell Government to rule out mining on productive agricultural lands and sensitive environmental areas.  The government has betrayed this promise today.

“This policy will not stop coal or gas mining on our precious food producing land like the Liverpool and Moore Plains, the suburbs of Sydney or our drinking water catchments.

“The moratorium on fracking has been lifted without the community being shown any evidence from the Government’s so called independent scientific studies of this technology.

“The Aquifer Interference Regulation has been downgraded to a mere policy, meaning our precious groundwater sources will not be protected by legally binding regulations.

“It is troubling that all biodiversity land mapping has been removed from the landuse plans meaning that the Pilliga and Leards Forests and other sensitive environmental lands are completely left out from these new arrangements.

“The Liberal and National Parties have sided with the miners. The Greens stand with the community calling for the protection of our productive agricultural land, water supplies, environmental assets and the health of the community.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

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