Government proves it is not genuine about pressing ‘reset’ on coal seam gas

MEDIA RELEASE – 19 November 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today questioned whether the government was genuine about pressing ‘reset’ on the coal seam gas industry after they used their numbers in the Upper House to vote down a number of amendments to the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (NSW Gas Plan) Bill 2014, which would have banned coal seam gas in the Sydney water catchment, and voted against cancelling 14 expired petroleum explorations licences, and 7 petroleum production licence applications.

“Last night the Greens moved some quite reasonable amendments to protect Sydney’s special water catchment and cancel expired or other pending licences.  The government showed its Gas Strategy announcement is all smoke, no fire and just a ploy to get them through the next election,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Local MPs like Gareth Ward, Lee Evans and Mark Coure are running around saying the Sydney water catchment should be protected, and others such as Thomas George, Chris Gulaptis and Kevin Anderson are saying that there local areas should be protected.  However, when it came to actually taking serious action, the government squibbed it and voted the amendments down.

“There are 14 expired petroleum exploration licences in NSW.  If the government was serious about cleaning up the coal seam gas mess, they would have backed the Greens amendment to cancel these expired licences.

“There are 7 pending petroleum production licence applications in NSW, including one from Metgasco in the Northern Rivers, as well as other applications from Santos at Narrabri and AGL at Gloucester.  The Greens moved for these applications to be expunged.

“It’s clear the government is narrow-casting, trying to placate local concerns, while their master plan is to roll out coal seam gas across NSW after the election is done and dusted.

“Voters should judge politicians and parties not on what they say just before an election, but how they vote on the floor of parliament.  If voters oppose coal seam gas, then the Greens are the best option,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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