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Clarity needed on CSG status in Sydney's water catchments

Community groups from across Sydney call on Premier Baird and Minister Roberts to make clear the status of coal seam gas mining in the Special Areas of Sydney Water Catchments once the current moratorium is lifted.

"For twelve months there’s been a moratorium on coal seam gas mining in Sydney’s drinking water catchments. The government’s new CSG plan released today fails to protect Sydney’s water catchments beyond this,” says Isabel McIntosh, spokesperson for Protect Sydney’s Water Alliance.

"Today Premier Baird has missed the opportunity to permanently protect the water supply for Sydney’s five million people from coal seam gas,” says Ms McIntosh. “An amendment to the Bill must be added that rules out the Special Areas of Sydney water catchments from the "unintended consequences" of coal seam gas now and forever.”

"We welcome the government’s commitment to accept all the recommendations of the Chief Scientist and Engineer’s independent review. In her report the Chief Scientist acknowledged that coal seam gas mining will inevitably have "unintended consequences" and that no matter how good the regulation it is impossible to avoid accidents, human error and natural disasters.”

"The Chief Scientist recommended coal seam gas only be approved in appropriate areas. The Sydney Catchment Authority also expressed strong opposition to coal seam gas in the Special Areas. We can’t allow the risk from coal seam gas in the special areas of Sydney Drinking Water Catchments. “

"This new CSG plan reflects the growing pressure from many segments of the community for the Government to act on coal seam gas. Many of Premier Baird’s own MPs are calling for protection of Sydney’s drinking water catchments from CSG," says Ms McIntosh.

Protect Sydney’s Water is an alliance of more than 50 community groups from across Sydney, the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains that is calling on the NSW Government to protect Sydney drinking water catchments from destructive mining practices.

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