The Greens NSW spokesperson on coal seam gas Jeremy Buckingham has condemned the NSW Liberal and National Government for ignoring the pleas of the Northern Rivers community to protect their environment and economy from the impact of Coal Seam Gas exploration and production.
Mr Buckingham’s attempt to incorporate a letter from the Northern Rivers community into his speech on the Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill was blocked by the Government. The document (attached) is backed by local scientists and academics and highlights the clear difference between the words and deeds of the NSW Government on its handling of coal seam gas exploration in the region.
“The Northern Rivers community have highlighted how much they have to lose in terms of biodiversity and high quality water if coal seam gas mining is green lighted in this area, Mr Buckingham said.
“The Greens support the argument made by the community that ‘sustainable industries create a basis for our future and must be protected. Not replaced by the short-term economic and unsustainable gains of the CSG industry’. These sustainable industries are the high quality and diverse agriculture of the region and nature-based tourism.
Mr Buckingham also criticised the Government’s new Strategic Regional Land Use Plans as being worthless for the Northern Rivers community.
Mr Buckingham said, “This new planning framework for coal seam gas will not apply to the Northern Rivers. This area is not slated for a Regional Land Use Plan and the exploration guidelines still don’t address the simple fact that the community wants a right to collectively say no to this industry.
“The Government might be consulting with the community but they aren’t listening. I support the position in the plea that the community has opted for the precautionary principle and there is simply no social licence for this industry in [the Northern Rivers].”
“Local Nationals MPs must start standing up for their community on this important issue. MPs like Geoff Provest from Tweed, Thomas George from Lismore, and Chris Gulaptis from Clarence should be representing this view in the parliament. In their absence the Greens are proud to stand up for the community,” Mr Buckingham said.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916