MEDIA RELEASE – 23 January 2015
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy today declared that the Greens, farmers and the community had won the debate over coal seam gas over the last four years saying the industry had been stopped in its tracks. He cited Santos’ announcement yesterday that they would not proceed with the Narrabri coal seam gas project until the “back end of the decade”, as well as the expiry today of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NSW Government and Santos to fast-track the Narrabri coal seam gas project.
In February 2014, the NSW Government signed an MOU with Santos declaring the Narrabri gas project a ‘Strategic Energy Project’. The MOU included a timeline in which Santos were due to lodge their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on 30 June 2014, and the final planning determination was to be made today, 23 January 2015. Santos have still not lodged their EIS and the final determination date has now passed.
“The Greens, farmers and the community have won the campaign against coal seam gas. The community are informed and dead set against fracking, and the industry has either packed up and left NSW, or their projects are at standstill,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“When the Coalition took office in March 2011, coal seam gas was set to roll out in the suburbs of Sydney and Sydney’s drinking water catchment, across the Hunter Valley, at Gloucester, throughout the Liverpool Plains and up to Moree, as well as in the Northern Rivers, Mid-North Coast, Newcastle, and Southern Highlands.
“After four years campaigning the industry is now banned in urban areas, has been crushed by strident community opposition in the Northern Rivers, and even the giant Narrabri project has fallen over.
“Driving around many regions of NSW, yellow ‘No Gas’ triangles, Lock the Gate signs and ‘No Coal Seam Gas’ bumper stickers are everywhere. In the last four years, the community uprising against coal seam gas has become the biggest environmental and social movement seen in NSW for decades.
“Santos’ Narrabri gas project appears dead. The MOU has expired, Santos have slashed their capital expenditure by hundreds of millions, and the project is on hold as they desperately try to sell down their stake in the project.
“The issue of coal seam gas is sure to be a big factor for many voters at the coming election, and the Greens are very proud of our track record on this issue,” he said.
Working hard to oppose coal seam gas in NSW Parliament
In direct relation to coal seam gas in the last term of parliament, Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham has given:
- 73 speeches
- 68 Questions on Notice
- 74 questions without Notice
- 260 questions in budget estimates
- 39 Notices of Motion
- 3 calls for papers (production of documents)
- 4 Bills into Parliament:
- Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill 2011
- Responsible Mining (Protect Land, Water & Communities) Bill 2014
- Central Coast Water Catchment Protection Bill 2014
- Mining Legislation Amendment (Right of Landholders to Refuse Access) Bill 2013
- Established the Legislative Council Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas
- Established the ongoing Legislative Council Inquiry into gas supply and price
He has also:
- Exposed spills, leaks and pollution incidents at CSG operations
- Conducted a Frack Finding Tour of the USA
- Toured Wyoming farmer John Fenton to Australia
- Successfully campaigned for a ban of CSG in urban areas
- Successfully campaigned to remove the royalty holiday for CSG
- Stopped the passage of the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013
- Raised the issue of domestic gas supplies being diverted to export
- Worked with NSW Farmers Association, Lock the Gate and other community groups
- Stood with community members at blockades of drilling sites , including at Bentley, Gloucester, Narrabri and Fullerton Cove
- Campaigned for greater the right of landholders to say no to exploration on their land
- Produced and distributed hundreds of thousands of leaflets, stickers and other campaign materials
- Visited all coal seam gas affected areas of NSW and other states
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916