Coalition votes for CSG in drinking water catchments

MEDIA RELEASE – 6 November 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has condemned the Baird Government for voting down a Greens amendment to the Water NSW Bill 2014 which would have banned coal seam gas exploration and prospecting in the Special Areas of Sydney’s Drinking water catchments.

“The people of NSW now know that the Government’s commitment to ban CSG in drinking water catchments ‘No ifs, no buts, a guarantee’ was a lie,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

The Greens amendment would have specified that a petroleum title could not be granted or renewed in relation to land within a declared ‘special area’. Special areas are declared for either or both of the following purposes:

  1. protecting the quality of stored waters, whether intended for use for drinking or other purposes,
  2. maintaining the ecological integrity of an area of land to be declared to be a special area in a manner that is consistent with Water NSW’s objectives.

Currently the only declared ‘special area’ is in the Sydney water catchment.

“Sydneysiders should be particularly concerned that the government thinks that toxic coal seam gas development in the special areas of their drinking water catchment is appropriate.

“The amendments would also have provided the Government with the opportunity to stop coal seam gas in other vital drinking catchments throughout the state.

“By failing to support the Greens amendment the Government is recklessly risking the safety and security of our drinking water supply,” said Mr Buckingham.

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