Nationals must demonstrate that ‘Right to Say No’ to CSG is not duplicitous

MEDIA RELEASE – 28 October 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed federal Nationals Leader Warren Truss’ statement that farmers should have the right to say no to coal seam gas on their land, but said the Nationals must demonstrate that this commitment is genuine and not a convenient deception to get out of a sticky situation.

Mr Truss told the Guardian:

“Access to prime agricultural land should only be allowed with the farmer’s agreement – the farmer should have the right to say yes or no to coal seam gas exploration and extraction on their property

“It’s good to hear the federal Nationals leader say farmers should have veto rights over coal seam gas activities on their land, but this is contradicted by his state Nationals colleagues consistently voting against attempts to put this right into law,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Just last week I moved amendments to the NSW Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 that would have given farmers the formal right to lock their gate to the coal seam gas rather than being dragged through forced arbitration by gas companies.  The National Party MPs voted against these amendments.

“It is a classic Nationals tactics to say one thing in public, and then fail to vote for it in parliament, but the community is catching on to this trick and anger is rising at this duplicitous behaviour.

“The public overwhelmingly reject coal seam gas and support farmers having the right to protect their land and water.  It’s time for the National Party to stop the political deception and support legislation to enshrine the right to say no.”

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