O’Farrell Government fails open and transparency test on Aquifer Interference Policy

Published: July 19, 2012

Lock The Gate Alliance has added its voice to the chorus of criticism from farming and conservation groups over the revised NSW Aquifer Interference Policy
  
Lock the Gate Vice President Jacinta Green said community interest in and concern about the potential for contamination of groundwater by coal seam gas developments required an open and transparent approach from the NSW Government.

"The policy is not available on the NSW Government website and it appears to have been given to a very few select people, who apparently have been given very little time to respond."

“Lock the Gate certainly understands anger from farming and conservation groups at a policy which promised to address the impacts of coal and gas on water resources but which actually does the reverse – specifically excluding coal and gas mining from getting an aquifer interference approval.

"This is a fundamental breach of the promises they made before the election.

“The O’Farrell government must also explain its very selective and secretive consultation about this crucial issue,” Ms Green said.

"Not only is the is the government failing to be open and transparent about the Aquifer Interference Policy, the process also appears to be shrouded in secrecy."

“If the policy is to be acceptable to the NSW community, the NSW community as a whole must be given the opportunity to study it and provide comment.

Most important, the NSW Government needs to implement its pre-election promises in full.

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