NSW agricultural land still open for fracking

Jeremy with drill rig Camden 800pxMEDIA RELEASE – 26 March 2014

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the announcement that there would be a 6 month freeze on assessing petroleum exploration license applications but warned that there are still no clear protections for key agricultural regions.

“This decision is a clear recognition
by the government that coexistence does not work and coal seam gas is not acceptable in productive agricultural areas,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said

“It is a victory for the community, but it is not the end of the threat that coal seam gas poses to our land, water and climate.

“We cannot forget that 96.6% of NSW is still open for fracking and this includes many productive agricultural areas and water resources, as well as key tourist and environmental areas

“There is still no clear protection in place for the Riverina food bowl or many other important agricultural areas including the Northern Tablelands and the North Coast.

“Why is it that viticulture and equine industries in the Hunter have been granted protection from coal seam gas as critical industry clusters, but other valuable industries such as horticulture, rice and other cropping, irrigation areas, dairy, oysters, and tourism have no protection?

“The government has failed to apply the cluster regulation equitably or strategically and they now need to expand Critical Industry Cluster status to other industries.

“It is also clear that the coal seam gas license application process is a complete debacle and the coalitions have failed to restore any community confidence.

“The Greens will amend the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, which is currently before the Parliament, to establish an Independent Expert Mining License Committee which will be responsible for conducting triple bottom line assessment as of all exploration license applications, as recommended by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.”

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

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