Greens’ bill to ban coal seam gas will provide certainty

MEDIA RELEASE – 30 April 2015

 

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham and Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith today launched a new private members bill that will legislate to prohibit coal seam gas across NSW, saying it was time for NSW to act decisively and move past the fractious coal seam gas debate, ban the industry and move forward with clean renewable energy projects.

The Greens will introduce the Bill to the NSW Legislative Council on Tuesday 5 May as their first act in the new parliament.

  • The Bill amends the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 by making it an offense to prospect for or mine coal seam gas and other unconventional gas in NSW.
  • The Bill does not directly cancel existing petroleum licenses, although it renders them useless, but it does give the Minister the ability to cancel licenses without compensation where it is in the public interest to do so. This is done by reinstating the public interest test which was introduced by the Government in 2013 but was subsequently repealed in 2014.

“There was a lot of rhetoric during the election campaign from all political persuasions, over which party would best protect land and water from coal seam gas.  This bill gives all parties the chance to stop coal seam gas in NSW,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Greens opposition to coal seam gas has been clear and we are acting immediately to put this position to the new Parliament.

“We know there is no gas shortage. We know that CSG pollutes the environment. We know it is widely opposed by voters. We know clean renewable energy is the way forward.  It’s time to ban this toxic industry and move on.

“The government has got itself into a policy and legal mess trying to placate community and environmental concerns on the one hand, but facilitate coal seam gas on the other.  It is time for the government to act decisively and protect land and water.”

Contact:  Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

Read the Bill Briefing note and the draft legislation.

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