Report highlights risks of coal seam gas – it’s time for a permanent ban in NSW

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the Chief Scientist’s report into coal seam gas, saying it was vindication of community concerns and that the risks highlighted in the report were too great to allow the coal seam gas industry to operate in NSW.
 
“The Chief Scientist’s report has identified that coal seam gas can present major risks to the environment, even if this risk is characterised as ‘unintended consequences’.  NSW should ban coal seam gas to mitigate these risks and turn to alternative sources of gas and energy,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
 
“We’ve already seen serious contamination incidents with only a few coal seam gas wells drilled in NSW. If this industry is allowed to drill the thousands of wells it wants, the risk will only increase no matter how much regulation is tightened.
 
“The Chief Scientist also recommends that legacy issues and cumulative impacts must be taken into account, including dealing with a million tonnes of waste salt.  

New NSW Government Offsets Policy a ‘Threat to Biodiversity’

Greens NSW MP and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called the NSW Government’s Biodiversity Offset Policy for Major Projects, which is due to commence tomorrow, a threat to NSW’s biodiversity and just a way of easing environmental regulations for developers and miners.
 
Dr Faruqi said:
 
“Tomorrow, the Government will commence a new biodiversity offset policy that will make it much easier for big mining and other interests to trash our environment. Despite much concern from environmental groups about the negative impacts of the policy, the Government is pushing ahead.
 
“It is especially disappointing to see the Government weakening biodiversity protections, just a day after the World Wildlife Fund’s 2014 Living Planet Report highlighted that global wildlife populations have halved since just 1970. In the wake of declining biodiversity, the Government should be further strengthening our environmental.

Government backs down on deeply flawed tree clearing laws

The NSW Government has today backed down on their poorly thought out and damaging fire code with the RFS announcing significant changes to the 10/50 clearing code of practice
 
The Greens NSW welcome these changes but call on the grossly flawed code to be entirely scrapped and threatened species protection to be reinstated.

Labor should extend CSG ban to other areas of NSW

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on the Labor Party to extend their unconventional gas ban in the Northern Rivers to the rest of NSW, or risk looking like they are playing cynical electoral politics that will be reversed once they are back in government.
 
"While the Greens welcome the Labor announcement banning unconventional gas in specific North Coast council areas, it is disappointing that Labor are making their coal seam gas policy based on cynical electoral politics rather than basic principles of protecting land, water and communities everywhere in NSW," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
 
"Labor were the party that unleashed coal seam gas across a third of NSW by issuing 39 exploration licences when they were last in office.
 
"The Greens policy is clear - we are opposed to unconventional gas everywhere and support a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy.