Battle lines on coal seam gas drawn for the election
MEDIA RELEASE – 13 November 2014
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the political map for the biggest environmental and regional issue facing voters in March is clear with the government releasing its plan for coal seam gas.
“A few days ago the Premier Mike Baird said “Do we want coal seam gas? Absolutely we do.” The NSW Gas plan is a document to get panicked National MPs through the election, but ultimately is a blueprint to roll out coal seam gas,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“Voters have a clear choice next March. Vote Nationals or Liberal and get coal seam gas. Vote Labor and get coal seam gas most places. Vote Greens for a strong and unqualified stand against coal seam gas.
“For the past three years we’ve had announcement after announcement, moratoriums put in place and then lifted, while the industry rolls on through exemptions and loopholes. This NSW Gas Plan is no different.
“None of the recommendations of the Chief Scientist have yet been put in place by legislation. We have a promise to implement the recommendations after the next election, but voters have long memories and know previous commitments such as the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy and Aquifer Interference Regulation were gutted and watered down and failed to deliver the promised protections.
“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. The reaction from farmers so far has been to see this as an attempted ‘bribe’ and they know that clean water and productive soils are precious and cannot be replaced by money.
“There is nothing in this plan that will give much succour to communities concerned about coal seam gas in Gloucester, the Northern Rivers, the Liverpool Plains, or Sydney’s water catchment. It’s just more empty statements about ‘world’s best practice’ while the industry fracks and its security guards rough up protesters,” he said.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916