Lock the Gate Alliance says today’s resignation of Premier Mike Baird is an opportunity to reset mining policy in New South Wales to prioritise the protection of our land, water and regional communities.
"The planning system in New South Wales is very much in favour of the vested interests of big mining companies to the detriment of farmers and regional communities - now is the time to restore the balance," said Lock the Gate NSW Coordinator, Georgina Woods.
"While the buyback of the Caroona licence, which the Premier mentioned in his resignation speech today, was important to protect the black soil of the Liverpool plains, the job is not done. The Shenhua coal project and CSG exploration licences still threaten the Plains.
"One of the last things the Baird Government has done is release draft changes to planning law that fast track coal and gas approvals, while sidelining the rights of farmers and the land and water they rely on.
"Baird’s government also introduced harsh and unprecedented laws removing the community’s rights to peaceful protest and criminalising farmers who lock their gates to mining giants.
"We absolutely need balance restored if the Government wants mining conflict resolved, and a new Premier can and must make that happen.
"The incoming Premier needs to stand up as leader and take urgent action to safeguard food-producing lands, precious groundwater resources and the drinking water of our major cities from risky coal and gas mining," Ms Woods said.