Lock the Gate says a NSW Mining Department brochure that was used to promote the Northern Rivers of NSW as a potential gas field to international buyers has caused shock and anguish in the region and highlights the urgent need for government policy to be backed with hard law.
"The Department has issued an apology and expressed regret for the error, but the fact remains there are still no statutory no-go zones for the coal seam gas industry in the Northern Rivers or the North West of the state outside major residential areas," said the Alliance’s National Coordinator, Phil Laird.
"The Government bought back a number of inactive and unworkable gas leases during the heat of a state election campaign to manage the communities concerns in early 2015 but there is nothing to prevent them re-issuing licences over the same areas.
"On day 3 of a Federal election campaign, the real threat is revealed. Political promises to keep the Northern Rivers gasfield free cannot be relied upon. If they want our trust, NSW must to commit to no go zones for coal and gas to protect communities, important water resources, productive farmland and important environmental places.
"Until legislated no go zones are put in place, the threat remains and so will community suspicion and unrest. The best way to avoid the confusion is to put these protections into legislation immediately.”