Lock the Gate Alliance has described the Strategic Regional Land Use Plans and Aquifer Interference Policy released today by the NSW Government as just more broken promises and said the fight will continue to prevent coal and gas mining from wrecking NSW.
"The NSW Government has broken its promises to put some decent controls on coal and gas mining and instead chosen to literally sell the farm to coal and gas companies.
"The community will not be deceived by the spin and rhetoric around this announcement by the NSW Government but will now redouble the fight against coal and gas mining in NSW.
"Before the last election we were promised no-go zones where there would be no coal and gas mining in NSW, but what was announced today is a 'gateway process' that miners can drive right through if a panel gives them the go ahead.
"The miners may get through the NSW Governments pathetic 'gateway process' with ease but they will still find the gates locked when they come knocking on farmers doors across NSW.
"There is also a provision for Cabinet to declare a project ‘exceptional' – an invitation to circumvent the formal process for the government's preferred mining companies.
"We were promised before the last election that there would be strong controls on coal and gas at the early exploration stage, but that has all been thrown out the window.
"It is obvious that the only constraint on unfettered exploration across NSW will still be the community taking up the fight through legal action, non-cooperation and peaceful protest.
"We were promised a strong aquifer interference process that would protect our precious underground water resources, but what we have got is yet another tick the box process that will protect nothing.
"Lock the Gate Alliance will not stop fighting for our farmland, our bushland and our water resources and for the communities that have been abandoned today by the NSW Government.
"The Lock the Gate Alliance has continued to call for a moratorium on coal seam gas because the industry has failed to demonstrate that it can operate safely. This land use policy is effectively a government green light.
"It is clear that the Government has made a decision to ignore legitimate public concerns. The Alliance is calling on communities to implement a people's moratorium to protect our land, water and environment.
Mr Hutton said his organisation would be participating in the government's consultation process but would continue to advocate locking the gate to all unwanted resource companies.
Key Quotes from the NSW Liberals and Nationals 'Strategic Regional Land Use' Pre-election Policy
"The NSW Liberals and Nationals believe that agricultural land and other sensitive areas exist in NSW where mining and coal seam gas extraction should not occur".
"A key part of the strategic land use planning process will be to identify strategic agricultural land and associated water and ensure that it is protected from the impacts of development".
"Ahead of the granting of an Exploration Licence, Strategic land use planning is the process that will be used for identifying and defining land use priorities for different areas of land within a region".