Goward must fix Gateway Panel farce
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today called on new Planning Minister Pru Goward to fix the ‘Gateway Process’ established to assess mining proposals on strategic agricultural land, after two of the six Gateway panel members resigned , including the chair Terry Short, and the panel was forced to grant a ‘Conditional Gateway Certificate’for a mine in the Bylong valley, despite assessing the mine as failing 12 out of 13 criteria.
“New Planning Minister Pru Goward needs to step in and fix this farcical Gateway Process,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“It’s very concerning that two of the six Gateway panel members have resigned. Panel members should be indemnified by the Department of Planning and empowered to give frank and fearless advice free from the threat of legal action by mining companies.
“It’s ludicrous that the Bylong mine failed 12 out of 13 criteria, and the Spur Hill mine that failed 9 out of 11 criteria, are still granted a certificate and progress to the next stage of planning assessment. The government has set up a gateway process, but there is not gate in the gateway.
“The Coalition government has set up the Strategic Regional Land Use Gateway Process as well as the Aquifer Interference Policy to protect land and water from mining. However, both these processes have been weakened to the point where they have become a rubber stamp to progress mining.”
At a public rally in opposition to mining and coal seam gas, hosted by Alan Jones in Bowral on 19 November 2011, Pru Goward said (10.15):
“The last thing this community wants, or any community wants is for a regulation that will fail. That will let you down, let us down, and let the future down.”
“Now Pru Goward is the Minister for Planning, she has the power to fix up regulations that are clearly failing to protect land and water resources to the point where they have become a farce.
“The resignation of one third of the Gateway Panel members should be the catalyst to reform the Gateway process to give it some actual powers to protect land and water resources from the threat of mining,” said Mr Buckingham.
Contact: Max Phillips – 0419 444 916
Check out this video of Pru Goward –http://youtu.be/jaX5LKMX8Dw