Political interference in forest closures
MEDIA RELEASE – 2 April 2014
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has written to Police Minister Mike Gallacher asking for the reasons behind his ministerial decision to request the closure of both the Leard State Forest and the Pilliga Forest near Narrabri, saying he was concerned that the decision was a political favour to resource companies Whitehaven and Santos.
“I’ve written to the Police Minister asking for an explanation as to why he has made a ministerial request to close these forests for extended periods of time and whether it was made at the request of the resource companies,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“State Forests should be open to the public for a variety of activities. The extent of these closures is of concern as it could have significant impacts on the public’s right to enjoy public assets.
“People in NSW have the right to peaceful protest and public land should not be closed simply to curtail this right.
“There is significant concern about both the destruction of the Leard Forest for Whitehaven’s coal mine and Satnos’ coal seam gas operations in the Pilliga Forest.
“The Greens support the right to peaceful protest and the NSW Greens state conference held last weekend passed a motion in support of protesters at both the Leard Forest and the Pilliga.”
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916