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State government water bill undermines regulation of coal seam gas

The lock the Gate Alliance believes the seemingly innocuous amendments to the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, currently being introduced into the state parliament are designed to further entrench the ineffective and inadequate policyframework the government is building around the CSG industry.

President of the lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, said Clause 329GA of the Bill supports the sanctioning of emergency releases of CSG recycled water to  to the rivers and streams of the Queensland section of the Murray Darling Basin.

"We understand the government's Healthy Headwaters study into the effects of CSG water on aquatic life has not yet been finalized and so we can only conclude that the community is being presented with another fait accompli by the Bligh government," Mr Hutton said.

The Bill also allows for emergency releases of CSG water into waterways for up to twelve months.

"The Bligh government has been trumpeting for months that the conditions it has imposed on the coal seam gas industry will protect the public and the environment against potential impacts and yet here we have legislation that effectively removes responsibility for adhering to these conditions for up to twelve months," Mr Hutton said.

"The CSG industry does not know what to do with all the water it is extracting and the Bligh government is introducing this legislation to allow it to get around the existing regulations."

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