75 per cent of people oppose coal seam gas - O'Farrell should halt the industry in NSW

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The O’Farrell Government should listen to the 75 per cent of people who oppose Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining in agricultural areas in NSW and immediately halt all CSG operations across the State.

A new Nielsen poll has found 75 per cent of people surveyed in NSW are opposed to CSG mining because of serious concerns for our water catchments, agricultural land and conservation areas.

The NSW Opposition has been calling on the O'Farrell Government to suspend all CSG exploration licences and cease issuing extraction licences until a water-tight regulatory framework is in place based on independent scientific research and conclusive evidence.

"With 75 per cent of people confirming they have grave concerns about CSG mining, Barry O'Farrell should immediately halt all CSG operations across NSW," Opposition Leader John Robertson said.

"Barry O'Farrell's lack of action has put some of our State's most precious land and resources at risk from CSG mining.

"Water catchments, high value agricultural land and conservation land all remain unprotected from CSG under the O'Farrell Government."

Mr Robertson said that community action had played a significant role in achieving protection for some residential areas, but that the poll confirms the community wants the rest of NSW protected from CSG mining as well.

Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said: "The O'Farrell Government has previously recognised serious concerns about CSG operations in residential areas, but has failed to go further and put protections in place for the whole of NSW."

"It's time for Barry O'Farrell to listen to the concerns of the community about CSG mining and take some action to protect our State before it's too late.

"Documents obtained under freedom of information laws earlier this month revealed that the NSW Government plans to renew most licences across 100 per cent of the original area, waiving a mandatory requirement that licences are reduced by 25 per cent on renewal.

"The NSW Government should at the very least put licence renewals on hold until the Chief Scientist reports back from her inquiry into CSG in July."