Santos leaked documents show government buckled under corrosive influence of gas lobby

MEDIA RELEASE – 17 July 2014 

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining, Jeremy Buckingham today said that leaked internal documents from gas company Santos demonstrate the pervasive and corrosive influence lobbyists for the gas industry have on NSW government policy.  The internal Santos presentation, detailed in today’s The Land Newspaper, show that the NSW Government was considering policies in line with community expectations before they were influenced by Santos.  These included:

  • the introduction of clear no go zones, including on the black soil Liverpool Plains;
  • the Mining and Petroleum Gateway being a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision, and all exploration activity to go through this Gateway;
  • Significantly tougher Petroleum Exploration License renewal conditions.

“These explosive documents once again show the pervasive and corrosive influence of lobbyists on NSW government policy,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The government has watered down its own policies, to placate Santos and probably the Minerals Council of NSW, and the result is regulations that fail to protect land and water.

“The public expectations are clear, we need prime agricultural land, critical water resources and urban areas to be off limits to the gas industry and we need an independent, transparent and accountable planning system.

“Instead what we have got is a government shamelessly fast tracking coal seam gas, avoiding the tough policy decisions needed to protect the community and having secret meetings with dodgy donors.

“Recent damning Gateway Panel decisions show how important it is that that body is given real power.

“The Greens have a bill before parliament which will ensure we have a responsible mining industry in NSW and I urge the government to listen to the public and support our Responsible Mining Bill when it comes up for debate in August. ” he said.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

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