Mike Baird’s secret plan to bring back CSG in the Northern Rivers
MEDIA RELEASE – 9 March 2016
The Greens today expressed grave concern that the Baird Government plans to revive a coal seam gas industry on the North Coast, after the Resources Minister refused to state which geographic areas would be reopened to coal seam gas and the Department of Planning and Environment’s Draft North Coast Regional Plan, stated that the government is mapping coal and coal seam gas resources in the region and promoting their potential for development.
The Draft North Coast Regional Plan says: “The NSW Department of Industry is mapping coal and coal seam gas resources in the region. Once completed, this information will inform future regional and local planning by providing updated information on the location of resources.” P. 31
“The North Coast also includes areas of the Clarence-Moreton Basin, which has potential coal seam gas resources that may be able to support the development and growth of new industries and provide economic benefits for the region.” P. 28
Greens NSW Mining Spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said:
“A month ago I wrote to the Minister for Resources asking him to clearly state in geographic terms which areas he plans to issue new coal seam gas exploration licences. Today I received a reply and the minister has refused to reveal the areas.
“Is Minister Roberts keeping the areas for new licences secret because the government plans to bring coal seam gas back to the Northern Rivers? The Regional Plan is revealing and extremely concerning.
Ballina MP, Tamara Smith said:
“The community of the Northern Rivers could not be clearer – we want to be gasfield free. The government must be deaf to still be pushing this toxic industry in their formal plans.
“It is duplicitous for the National Party to be bragging about the Northern Rivers being gasfield free, but have secret plans to bring back coal seam gas.
“If the National Party ever dare to issue a new gas exploration licence I will be after them like a tiger, with the community behind me.
“I call on Minister Roberts to stop hiding behind bureaucracy and process and clearly state that he will not issue any gas exploration licences over the beautiful Northern Rivers.”