Report highlights risks of coal seam gas – it’s time for a permanent ban in NSW

MEDIA RELEASE – 1 October 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the Chief Scientist’s report into coal seam gas, saying it was vindication of community concerns and that the risks highlighted in the report were too great to allow the coal seam gas industry to operate in NSW.

“The Chief Scientist’s report has identified that coal seam gas can present major risks to the environment, even if this risk is characterised as ‘unintended consequences’.  NSW should ban coal seam gas to mitigate these risks and turn to alternative sources of gas and energy,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“We’ve already seen serious contamination incidents with only a few coal seam gas wells drilled in NSW.  If this industry is allowed to drill the thousands of wells it wants, the risk will only increase no matter how much regulation is tightened.

“The Chief Scientist also recommends that legacy issues and cumulative impacts must be taken into account, including dealing with a million tonnes of waste salt.

“The risks, the legacy issues, the cumulative impacts, the community division, the impact on the climate, the need for more stringent regulation and monitoring, all these add up and beg the question: do we need a risky coal seam gas industry in NSW?

“This report is a red light for the current coal seam gas projects at Narrabri, Gloucester and Camden, and they should be halted and no new projects should be approved until the government has digested and responded to this report with significant legislative and regulatory reform.

“NSW should seek to secure gas supply from Bass Strait and the South Australian desert, and implement policies to transition to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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