NSW Government should not delay arbitration reforms any further

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 August 2014

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today expressed support for the recommendations made by Brett Walker SC in his review of the arbitration process for negotiating land access arrangements but questioned why the government has decided to wait until 2015 to bring in the necessary legislative changes.

“A reform of the shambolic arbitration process for access arrangements is long overdue as the current system has imposed huge financial and emotional costs on many farmers who are faced with multinational mining companies trying to force their way onto their land,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“The Greens support the right for landholders to say no to mining. This right has been advocated by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and federal Resource and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, and embraced by some resource companies.  Governments should stop mucking around and put this into law.

“While the Greens will continue to advocate for the right to say no, we support the recommendations made by Mr Walker in this review.

“However, I am very concerned that the government has decided to delay until after the next election actually implementing the legislative changes recommended in this review.

“The community cannot trust the government to follow through on this after an election, so if they are serious about making these changes they should commit to making this the law of the land before the end of the year.

“There is very little trust left in the community and among farmers that this government has their interests at heart and not the interests of their donors in the mining industry, so a delay until after the March election is simply unacceptable,” Mr Buckingham said.

The Walker review and Government response are available here

Contact: Max Phillips- 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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