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Committee report shows authorities should consider downstream emissions from mining and gas projects

Lock the Gate Alliance is urging the Berejiklian Government to scrap legislation discouraging planning authorities from considering downstream greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines or gasfields given almost universal opposition to the move. 

A new committee report released today has revealed an overwhelming majority of respondents have urged the NSW Government not to proceed with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Territorial Limits) Bill 2019, mostly due to the negative impact it would have on efforts to combat dangerous climate change.

The Committee received nearly 3,000 responses to a survey about the Bill and 19 substantive submissions, with many describing the legislation as unnecessary and warning it runs the risk of NSW ignoring the climate change implications of major resource projects.

The Committee also criticised the legislation, and argued it would “contradict well-established principles of New South Wales planning law.” 

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said, “It is crucial that New South Wales planning authorities remain free to consider the range of environmental and social impacts of development. The Government’s attempt to restrict that freedom with this Bill was ham-fisted and politically-motivated and the Bill needs to be withdrawn.

“There are a dozen new coal and gas projects in New South Wales that will together, if they proceed, result in around 2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Where those emissions are created does not change the fact that they will cause lasting harm to the people of New South Wales by further fueling global warming and climate change.

“New South Wales is not an island removed from the dangerous effects of climate change, as the recent devastating bushfires have shown.

“New South Wales is starting to come to grips with the challenges of climate change, not the least of which is the role our coal export industry plays in this global problem. We need sober and candid public discussion about these problems and we can’t have that if we blindfold planning authorities from considering it.”

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