According to Lock the Gate Northern Rivers, the new CSG exclusion zones announced today by Premier O’Farrell completely ignore the needs and concerns of rural residents and established industries in the Northern Rivers.
In his press release on the changed rules Barry O’Farrell stated: “Families in residential areas should not have to worry about their quality of life being affected by the noise, visual impacts and other effects of coal seam gas mining.”
“Why is it that the quality of life of urban residents is deemed more important than rural residents in regions such as the Northern Rivers whose health, amenity and livelihoods are under threat from coal seam gas operations?” questioned Ian Gaillard, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Northern Rivers.
“Similarly, if the government is prepared to protect wine and horse producers, what about the vital industries of the Northern Rivers like eco-tourism, dairy farming and sustainable agriculture that will be negatively impacted by the large scale CSG production planned for the region?”Read more
Residents of north-west NSW have expressed dismay that the CSG law changes put forward by Premier Barry O'Farrell this morning seem to do nothing to protect farmers, food-producing land or natural areas in the region.
"If Barry O'Farrell is telling us this morning that CSG mining is not safe - then it is not safe anywhere, not in Sydney and not in the Gunnedah Basin. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander" said David Quince, farmer and chairperson of the Mullaley Gas Pipeline Accord.
"As far as we can see, there is absolutely nothing in these changes for north-west NSW. It looks to us as if the Liberal party has taken action to look after its voters in Sydney for a political quick fix, but the National Party has hung us out to dry" he said.Read more
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton will be taking a complaint to the Crime and Misconduct Commission today at 10 am.
He will be supplying evidence to the CMC about the approvals process for the GLNG (Santos) and GCLNG (QGC) projects which were given the go-ahead in May and June of 2010 under the Bligh government.
Mr Hutton will be supplying evidence largely obtained under Right to Information that reveals public servants were improperly pressured to give the approvals without all the necessary information from the companies. In so doing they breached legislation governing the granting of such approvals and environmental authorities.Read more
The Lock the Gate Alliance today welcomed the O'Farrell government's announcement it would ban coal seam gas mining in residential areas and around industry clusters but warned that this would not go anywhere near calming public concern about the issue.
Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton said the announcement did not address such concerns as:
- coal mining, especially in places like Leard Forest, Gloucester and the Hunter
- all mining in residential areas with a concentrated population of less than 1000 and rural residential areas
- good farm land
- water catchments
- areas with vulnerable underground water systems
- important environmental areas such as the Pilliga and the Northern Rivers
- CSG approvals already given as at Gloucester.
The decision by the Newman government to lift the moratorium on shale oil is a reckless move that will endanger the Queensland environment.
Shale oil is extracted by crushing sedimentary rock, heating it to high temperatures and using various other processing methods to extract the oil.
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said this decision was in line with the Newman government's support for other high-polluting technologies such as coal seam gas, shale gas and underground coal gasification.