Greens NSW Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called on the government to immediately and permanently protect the Ben Bullen State Forest and nearby areas, including the iconic stone pagodas, from coal mining. Coalpac has displayed plans to mine 315 Ha of Ben Bullen State Forest, around six months after the Planning Assessment Commission recommended a similar project be refused.
'When Coalpac withdrew their proposal to mine coal in the Ben Bullen State Forest after the Planning Assessment Commission recommended its refusal, the Government had a real opportunity to step in and permanently protect the area.
"Now there is yet another plan to dig coal out of the Ben Bullen State Forest, if the Minister does not declare the Ben Bullen State Forest and other related areas a national park, we could lose this precious environment forever.
"When I visited the spectacular stone pagodas late last year, it is very clear that this unique natural area in urgent need of protection.
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today expressed his dismay that the government’s centrepiece policy to protect groundwater, the Aquifer Interference policy, will not apply to the assessment of Santos’ 850 gas well project, despite admissions from Santos that there are risks to aquifers, a record of contamination incidents and the fact that it sits above a Great Artesian Basin recharge area.
Jeremy Buckingham Greens mining agriculture spokesperson will introduce a call for papers into parliament under Standing Order 52 seeking all information regarding the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Government and Santos and the EPA's handling of the revelations that Santos contaminated an aquifer in the Pilliga with uranium and other heavy metals.
"The Greens want to know why it took a year for this information about the aquifer contamination to become public. Why the fine was so paltry? Why the media were not properly alerted by the EPA?," asked Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
Ground water contaminated with uranium 20x limit & other poisonous elements - game over for coal seam gas
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today called on the NSW government to halt all coal seam gas projects after the NSW Environmental Protection Authority found that gas company Santos had seriously contaminated ground water with toxic elements such uranium, arsenic, lead, and boron at its coal seam gas Bibblewindi water treatment plant near Narrabri. Uranium has been detected in the aquifer at 335 micrograms per litre, which is 20 times safe drinking water levels.
"This is game over for coal seam gas. Here is definitive proof that unconventional gas, such as coal seam gas pollutes aquifers with extremely toxic elements," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
"It is totally unacceptable for ground water to be contaminated with radioactive uranium 20 times the safe drinking water limit. Poisonous elements such as arsenic, lead and boron have also been mobilised and concentrated by coal seam gas extraction and then leaked into the aquifers.
"The gas industry often states there are no 'proven' cases of gas extraction leading to aquifer contamination. Well here is the proof.
"The Greens call for the Santos Narrabri project and other coal seam gas projects in NSW to be halted immediately. Other aquifers cannot be put at risk of serious pollution. This type of contamination represents a serious health risk to humans and animals.
Greens NSW Spokesperson for Environment, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has stated that Muckaty is no solution to radioactive waste problems for Sydney, in response to reports that the State Government is planning to send nuclear waste from Hunters Hill to Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.
“Neither Muckaty in the Northern Territory nor Western Sydney should be the dumping grounds of nuclear waste.
“I note the great campaign the Greens Federal Senators like Senator Scott Ludlam have been running against the proposed Muckaty nuclear waste facility that seeks to turn Australia into a nuclear waste dumping ground.
“The Muckaty plan is opposed by the Aboriginal traditional owners of the land and there are serious concerns about its ecological impact – the New South Wales Government should not be dumping its problems half way across the country.
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today introduced legislation into the NSW Legislative Council to stop mining and exploration in the Central Coast drinking water catchment saying it will test Premier Barry O'Farrell's credibility.
The Central Coast Drinking Water Catchments Protection (No ifs, no buts, a guarantee) Bill 2014 prohibits mining and exploration activities in the seven drinking water catchments of the Central Coast - the Mangrove Creek Dam, Mardi Dam, Ourimbah Creek, Wyong River, Porters Creek, Mangrove Creek Weir and Mooney Mooney Dam catchment areas.
A town in Wyoming now has to have its drinking water trucked in, after the US Environmental Protection Agency found that fracking for shale gas had poisoned the water.
John Fenton, Wyoming farmer and activist, is touring Australia with a warning about the dangers of fracking for unconventional gas. It's a message that resonates strongly with communities across NSW who are campaigning against coal seam gas, which is also classified as unconventional.
Greens MP Jamie Parker will host a free public meeting this Saturday:
When: 4pm Saturday 22 February
Where: Leichhardt Town Hall - cnr Marion & Norton Streets
Who: John Fenton, Wyoming farmer and gas activist
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today condemned NSW Minister for Resources Anthony Roberts for running a scare campaign based on industry lies to justify turning NSW into a toxic gas field.
"The idea that NSW must industrialise our agricultural land and threaten our water resources in response to looming gas price hikes is simply not true," Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.
"The reason that the price of gas to Australian consumers is set to rise is because the government is rushing to export LNG and this is increasing demand and driving up prices."