Nationals statement on coal seam gas fails the credibility test

Published: November 07, 2011

Yesterday's framework statement on coal seam gas by the federal Nationals leader Warren Truss simply continues the party's practice of telling farmers they sympathise with their plight and they will be looked after but does little to address the real problems of the too-rapid expansion of the gas industry.

President of the Lock the Gate Alliance said the Nationals must make it clear what actions they will take to protect such assets as good farm land and underground water.

"Will the Nationals support legislation that protects all good agricultural land and not just the tiny percentage the Queensland government will protect under its Strategic Cropping Land legislation?" Mr Hutton asked.

"Will the Nationals support stronger legislation at both federal and state levels that keeps mining away from vulnerable underground water systems?

"So far the neither the Nationals nor their coalition partner the Liberals have shown any inclination to back up their soothing words with actions that count.

"Most importantly, will the Nationals support a moratorium on all further CSG development until all the potential impacts have been properly assessed?"

Mr Hutton said Mr Truss was simply going along with the ALP fantasy that putting conditions on these projects will ensure mining and agriculture can co-exist.

"Well they can't, and the Nationals need to recognise this," said Mr Hutton.

"In the meantime they are simply betraying the bush."

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