Lock the Gate warns CSG committee to back moratorium

Published: April 20, 2012

Lock the Gate Alliance President Drew Hutton has warned Shooters and Fishers Party MP and Coal Seam Gas Inquiry chair Robert Brown that he risks a backlash from the bush if the inquiry report does not recommend a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration and production in NSW.

Mr Hutton said, "Reading the transcripts of the inquiry and the evidence of experts that point to significant uncertainty about water and agricultural impacts from the CSG industry, it is impossible to see how the committee can recommend anything other than a moratorium."

"Regional NSW is already fed up at the support for the coal seam gas industry from the NSW Coalition Government and particularly the National Party. If chair Robert Brown and the Shooters and Fishers Party ignore the concerns of the bush in the inquiry report, they risk a similar backlash and a community revolt.

"The community appreciate the opportunity to have their say through the committee process, but if their voices are ignored, I am confident they will implement their own regulation on the CSG industry through ongoing community campaigns and blockades. 

"With the inquiry report date fast approaching and the NSW Government's Landuse Plans being labeled by all stakeholders as a broken election promise, the Shooters and Fishers Party hold the box seat to act to protect NSW agricultural land and water from coal seam gas exploration and production.

"There have also been a number of environmental incidents recently admitted by Santos at their Pilliga Forest operation which should be recognised in the final report.

"A moratorium is the only logical response to the significant uncertainty highlighted through the inquiry process," Mr Hutton said. 

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