MEDIA RELEASE – 14 November 2011
Coal seam gas blowing up Coalition
Desperate National Party members have broken ranks on coal seam gas only to be reigned in by their Liberal colleague, with Resources Minister Chris Hartcher slapping down the Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries today after Humprhies promised an announcement that coal seam gas pilot production would be halted.
Greens Mining Spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said Nationals MP Kevin Humphries was on the right track in defending rural communities from the threat of coal seam gas and should not tolerate being reigned in by his Liberal colleague Chris Hartcher who said there would be no change to coal seam gas policy.
“This is a massive rebuke for the National Party and the Coalition is in complete disarray on coal seam gas,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“If Kevin Humphries can’t deliver on the pending announcement he promised this morning, then he will have lost the confidence of the people of Barwon and Western NSW.
“Labor’s reversal on coal seam gas policy has left the government exposed out on a political limb. Nervous Nationals are now starting to break ranks, while the pro-industry Liberal Minister attempts to reign them in.
“The government’s handling of this is a dog’s breakfast and Barry O’Farrell needs to step in.
“The Greens Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill won’t pick winners and losers as the O’Farrell Government seems to be attempting with its ad hoc announcements. The Bill will press pause on the industry state-wide for 12 months while we investigate whether it should be granted a social licence,” he said.
Jeremy Buckingham will tour Santos’ coal seam gas operations in the Narrabri area with the Legislative Council Inquiry into the industry on Tuesday. Hearings will be held in Narrabri on Wednesday and a hearing will be conducted at Parliament House on Thursday.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916
The following Coalition MPs have CSG activities and significant community opposition in their electorates:
Kevin Anderson (Nat) from Tamworth, Kevin Humphries (Nat) from Barwon,
George Souris (Nat) from Upper Hunter, Pru Goward (Lib)from Goulburn,
Brian Doyle (Lib) from Campbelltown, Thomas George (Nat) from Lismore,
Steve Bromhead (Nat) from Myall Lakes, Andrew Stoner (Nat) from Oxley,
Tim Owen (Lib) from Newcastle, Craig Baumann (Lib) from Port Stephens,
Lee Evans (Lib) from Heathcote, Geoff Provest (Nats) from Tweed, Gareth Ward (Lib) Kiama