Money will not buy support for coal seam gas
MEDIA RELEASE – 12 November 2014
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today slammed the Baird Government for green lighting coal seam gas and thinking they can simply buy support for the industry by increasing compensation for landholders. He said that money cannot fix polluted aquifers, or damaged land, or a divided community and that the full implementation of the Chief Scientist’s recommendations will be extremely difficult.
“The government has lifted the veil and has shown they are absolutely pro-coal seam gas, providing people in NSW concerned about coal seam gas a very clear choice at the next election.” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The government is mistaken and taking a very cynical view of the motivations behind opposition to coal seam gas if they think they can buy support for coal seam gas by increasing the level of compensation. Farmers and others know that clean water and productive soils are precious and cannot be replaced by money.
“Only a few landholders will actually benefit from increased compensation payments, but opposition to coal seam gas is broadly based across regional communities and based on long-term and deeply held concerns.
“The Greens are pleased to read reports that the government has committed to implementing the 16 recommendations of the Chief Scientist, however the devil will be in the details of its implementation. The current government has a poor track record in regulating mining – watering down important reforms or election promises, and leaving loopholes for the mining industry to sneak through.
“The Liberal and National parties have nailed their colours to the mast. Labor is sitting on the fence with an ad hoc policy, while the Greens unequivocally oppose coal seam gas and support a rapid transition to renewable energy sources,” he said.
51 councils in NSW, including Wollongong City Council last Monday, have passed resolutions stating they are unequivocally opposed to coal seam gas in their local government areas.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916