State opposition talk tough on CSG

The Land - 17.11.2011

NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson and Country Labor candidate Peter Ellem yesterday met with local business people to discuss the push to suspend all Coal Seam Gas exploration in the Clarence.

“Country Labor has taken a stand and called on the O’Farrell Government to immediately suspend all Coal Seam Gas exploration licenses before irreparable damage is caused to ground water and aquifers in the Northern Rivers,” Mr Ellem said.
“We have said that until a regulatory framework is in place based on independent scientific research and conclusive evidence, we should not be allowing Coal Seam Gas mining to proceed freely.

“Like local residents and farmers, I am concerned about the impact Coal Seam Gas could have on our local rivers, drinking water, prime agricultural land, fishing industry and tourism industry.
“The message is that until the science is in, we should suspend all current Coal Seam Gas exploration licenses, cease issuing extraction licenses and refuse any applications to expand existing operations.

“Governments of all persuasions have rushed into Coal Seam Gas mining without recognising the potential consequences.
“We have heard very little on Coal Seam Gas from the Nationals candidate. I’m asking Mr Gulaptis to set politics aside and put our rivers and agricultural land first.”

Mr Robertson said he was concerned governments had rushed into Coal Seam Gas mining without fully understanding the potential impacts, and called on the O’Farrell-Stoner Government to back in his position.

“When new medicines are introduced, they have to go through thorough testing to ensure they are safe for patients to consume,” Mr Robertson said.
“No medication is allowed onto the market until it is proven to be safe and the same should apply to new industries like Coal Seam Gas mining.

“I’m calling on the O’Farrell-Stoner Government to take a stand and suspend all Coal Seam Gas exploration licenses and stop issuing extraction licenses until the peer reviewed, scientific research is in.

“We need to put the brakes on the Coal Seam Gas industry now before it’s too late.”

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