Lock the Gate Alliance will double down on its fight to stop the coal seam gas industry from ever becoming established in NSW.
The commitment is one of several outlined in the group’s State Election policy platform, released last night. The Alliance is calling on all political parties and candidates to embrace the platform in the lead up to next month's election.
The platform also notes that since the Paris Agreement, the NSW Government has approved 26 new fossil fuel projects which, when combined, would be responsible for a staggering 4.4 billion tonnes of CO2-e - about 33 times NSW’s entire annual GHG emissions.
“Our ask for NSW election candidates is in line with what the International Energy Agency says must be done in order to avoid catastrophic global warming - no new or expanded coal or gas projects can be built,” said Lock the Gate Alliance NSW coordinator Nic Clyde.
The Alliance also asks whoever forms government after the election to:
Develop a gas decarbonisation road map for NSW
Scrap the Strategic Statement on Coal (one of the key policy drivers of coal expansion in NSW)
Support renewable alternatives to fossil fuels where renewable projects have community support
Invest in a Hunter Valley Authority to lead structural adjustment, support workers and promote landscape restoration in the Hunter
Develop new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage laws – co-designed with First Nations people - to protect cultural sites and landscapes
Increase coal royalties to fund economic diversification, climate adaptation, landscape restoration, and mine rehabilitation
Dramatically reduce direct greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal mines
“Right now, regional communities are fighting against Santos’ planned coal seam gas expansions across north west NSW, the Liverpool Plains, and the Upper Hunter. NSW deserves a government that backs farmers and Traditional Owners over the interests of a polluting coal seam gas company," Mr Clyde said.
“Unfortunately, recently released election donation receipts reveal Santos continues to pour thousands into the coffers of both the Labor and Liberal parties, skewing our democracy in its favour,” Mr Clyde said. Last financial year, fossil fuel companies donated about $2 million to the ALP, Liberal and National parties across the country.
“We hope these demands help remind those vying for election that they serve the people of NSW, not cashed-up fossil fuel companies.
“It’s time to put NSW on a path away from climate chaos and destruction of land, water and culture, and towards clean energy and diversified regional economies.
“NSW is at a crossroads and we don’t have time to wait any longer. Regional communities need support to rein in climate change and diversify their economies away from coal and gas mining.”