ALP promise to close shale gas water trigger loophole welcome: full protection needed for significant water resources

Published: May 24, 2016

Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed a promise by the ALP to expand the EPBC water trigger to shale and tight gas, calling on the Federal Government to match the promise and for all parties to go further to create no-go zones to protect water and strengthen the water trigger further.

Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Phil Laird said, “This is a common sense commitment by the ALP to expand the water trigger to shale and tight gas, and we congratulate them for taking that step.

“Unconventional gas of all kinds is a risky business, and in an arid country like Australia, we have got to make sure the laws are there to stop invasive gas mining from depleting or compromising our precious water resources.

“The stark reality is that the extension of the water trigger to other forms of unconventional gas needs to be accompanied by strong no-go zones to protect nationally important water sources and increased powers for the Independent Expert Scientific Committee” he said.

Third Generation rural Northern Territory resident Charmaine Roth said, “I'm relieved to hear Federal Labor is applying some fairness and common sense to communities whose water is threatened by shale or tight gas mining.

“I call on the Federal Coalition Government to match the promise and to provide assurances that they will drop their ill-conceived plans to hand the water trigger back to the states.

“We can't rely on the Territory Government for oversight of our water and can’t go on with this trial and error approach where we let damaging gas mining go ahead, and then cry over spilt chemicals.

Phil Laird said “It is critical that the National and Liberal Parties match today’s promise, and also give up on their plans to hand the water trigger back to untrustworthy state governments.

“It’s not acceptable to regional Australia for crucial matters like these to be partisan, and this important promise to close an accidental loophole in the EPBC water trigger and keep it in Federal hands must be immediately matched by Water Minister Barnaby Joyce.

“We also urge the Labor Party, and all other parties, to go further and make commitments over the next six weeks to no-go zones and a strengthened Independent Expert Scientific Committee with more power to protect water resources” he said.

Lock the Gate’s#Water4Life index for the Federal Election is available here.

 

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