Lock the Gate Alliance has today welcome Federal Resource and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s move to put the rights of landholders and the need to protect land and water resources from Coal Seam Gas (CSG) on The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agenda, but said that action is urgently needed from the Qld Government right now on the issue.
Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Phil Laird said that there has been plenty of talk from Federal MPs this week, but no action at all from any Government, and that the Qld Government needs to head to COAG with changes already in place that better protect landowners form the harmful impacts of CSG.
“We’re calling for immediate action from the Qld Government to deliver changes that are urgently needed to prevent further harm to farmers in Qld from CSG companies.
“The community is increasingly frustrated that there has still been no response whatsoever from the Qld Government after the loss of George Bender.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has not responded to requests from Pam and Helen Bender to a meeting, and there has been no response to our calls for a CSG Crisis Action Plan.
“The plan would go along way to drastically reducing the harm to people being forced to live in gasfields.
“The Queensland Government has being warned that people are on the brink and at the end of their tether. This is not a time for buck passing.
“This week more and more people on the land are coming out and saying that they are struggling emotionally with bullying and stress of the CSG occupation.
“At Hopeland Queensland, farmers are dealing with the double whammy of good soils being contaminated by Linc Energy's underground coal gasification, and being surrounded by CSG companies wanting to occupy their farms against their will
“Annastacia Palaszczuk must be ready to attend COAG having already taken action to deliver fairness for farmers and end the bullying and coercion by CSG companies.
“We have welcomed the move by Minister Frydenberg to take the issue to COAG, but our politicians need to move beyond more talk and urgently deliver change.
“The Federal Senate had a chance to provide a veto right to farmers earlier this year, but both major political parties voted it down. The community wants action, not another talkfest” concluded Mr Laird