The Lock the Gate Alliance reacted to today’s announcement of the NSW government’s Strategic Regional Land Use Policy by saying that gates across the state would remain locked to coal and coal seam gas mining.
Lock the Gate Alliance President, Drew Hutton, said he felt very few, if any, of the more than 100 community action groups around the state would be unlocking their gates in the wake of the government’s announcement.
“This is an appalling policy and is nothing more than an invitation for high-impact, polluting activities to come on to almost any part of the state.
“The Gateway process is based on the assumption that resource extraction should not be ruled out anywhere, regardless of whether it comes on to good farm land or areas of high conservation value, endangers vulnerable aquifers, or is important for various key industries such as viticulture and horse breeding.
“Irrigators will be especially angry that aquifer interference measures have been downgraded from a regulation to a policy, leaving it as relatively toothless.
“The government has also removed the triple bottom line approach it promised to apply to all resource developments so that the only criteria likely to be applied to any new project are economic ones.
“Despite its denials the State Government has reneged on its promises before the last election and we will hold them accountable.
“Mr O’Farrell and Mr Hartcher can give out as many exploration licences as they like but neither coal nor coal seam gas industries have a social licence to bring their activities into inappropriate areas and so landowners will continue to lock the gate and, where appropriate, block the gate to these unwelcome companies,” Mr Hutton said.
“This is really only the start of the fight, not the end of it.”