Greens NSW response to Stop CSG Sydney Questionnaire
These are the answers of the Greens NSW to a questionaire sent by the fantastic campaigners at Stop CSG Sydney asking all political parties for their positions ahead of the upcoming NSW election on 28 March 2015.
- Do you support the coal seam gas industry being rolled out in NSW?
The Greens NSW are unequivocally opposed to coal seam gas and are the only party currently in Parliament advocating for a complete and permanent ban on this toxic industry. The Greens NSW have consistently argued and campaigned, both in parliament and with the community, against the roll out of coal seam gas and we will continue to do so until our land, water and communities are protected.
- Does your party support hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) in Gloucester, Pilliga or Camden?
The Greens NSW want a complete and permanent ban on fracking because of the unacceptable risks it poses to our groundwater systems. There is mounting evidence from around the world that fracking can lead to contaminated and depleted aquifers and directly threatens the quality of water available for drinking or agriculture. The Greens NSW want the CSG operations at Gloucester, the Pilliga and Camden to be stopped immediately before any further damage is done to our land, water or communities.
- Do you have concerns about the health risks associated with CSG mining?
There is mounting evidence both in Australia and around the world that CSG mining presents significant risks to public health especially in nearby communities. The Greens NSW are concerned that the current level of assessment and monitoring of the health impacts of CSG is inadequate and this is backed up by groups such as the Public Health Association and Doctors for the Environment. We should be particularly alarmed that a recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia has made it clear that the health burdens of CSG “are likely to fall disproportionately on rural communities, the young and the elderly.” The Greens NSW believe that at the very least CSG should be prohibited within 2 km of all residential dwellings, water catchments, agricultural land and sensitive environmental places and that health impact statements should be mandatory for all CSG projects.
- Do you have concerns about the impact of CSG mining on water resources and agricultural land?
The Greens NSW have stood with communities around the state in opposing the roll out of toxic gasfields. CSG threatens to pollute and deplete our drinking and agricultural water and we have already seen a number of serious pollution incidents, including one case where an aquifer in the Pilliga was contaminated with Uranium and other heavy metals. The roll out of CSG mining involves hundreds of wells and associated infrastructure taking over the landscape and will irreversibly change our farmland and rural communities.
- If you are elected, will you (and your party) support and campaign for a ban on CSG mining in Sydney’s water catchment?
The Greens NSW have campaigned for the cancellation of all CSG licenses across Sydney and we have introduced legislation which would ban all mining, including CSG, within 2km of drinking water catchments including Sydney’s. We will continue to support and campaign for the protection of these sensitive areas.
- If you are elected, will you (and your party) support and advocate for a Royal Commission into the CSG industry to determine if it is safe?
The Greens NSW believe that it is already clear that CSG is unsafe and should be permanently banned everywhere, however a Royal Commission would be an important forum to publically and forensically scrutinise the industry and as such we strongly support and advocate for the establishment of one. The Greens initiated and Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham was the Deputy Chair of two inquiries into coal seam gas in the last term of government.
- Will you (and your party) support the call for the license covering greater metropolitan Sydney (PEL 463) to be cancelled (extinguished) to provide certainty for 4 million people?
The Greens NSW have campaigned and advocated at every opportunity, both in Parliament and the community, for this license to be cancelled and we will continue to do so. It is a sad indictment on the Labor Party that this license was ever issued and an ever sadder indictment on the Liberal and National Parties that they have not cancelled it in 4 years of government.