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Nothing for the North-West in CSG Law Changes

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.

"Barry O'Farrell said that families in residential areas should not have to worry about their quality of life being affected by noise and visual impacts - but what about our families? Why should we be treated differently?" said Penny Blatchford, farmer and spokesperson for Bellata Gurley Action Group Against Gas.

"If coal seam gas is unsafe in Campbelltown, then it is unsafe everywhere; if coal seam gas is a risk to wine-growing and horse-breeding areas in the Hunter Valley, then it is a risk to our food and fibre producing areas in the north-west. 

"What do we have to do to force this government to protect our farms and businesses - plant vines and build stables?" she asked.

"There are a number of CSG licences in the north-west that are soon to be renewed by the NSW Government, including controversial licences over Bellata, the Pilliga, Coonamble and the Liverpool Plains" said Carmel Flint, spokesperson for Lock The Gate Alliance.

"The NSW Government should put those licences on hold, and put in place a proper moratorium on all coal seam gas drilling until the many risks acknowledged by Premier O'Farrell today have been properly quantified" she said.

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