Labor backs farmers' calls for Premier to intervene in mining and CSG policy

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The Labor Opposition has today backed calls from the NSW Farmers' Association for Premier O'Farrell to intervene in his government's land use policies – which fail to protect agricultural land and water supplies from mining and Coal Seam Gas operations.

The NSW Farmers' Association annual conference has unanimously passed an urgency motion calling on the Premier to intervene in his government's land use policies, which they say puts the wishes of mining companies before farmers.

"Premier O'Farrell should heed the call of the NSW Farmers' Association and intervene in his government's land use policies that fail to protect our prime agricultural land and precious water supplies," Shadow Water Minister, Luke Foley said.

"The O'Farrell Government has betrayed farming communities and broken their election promise to protect prime agricultural land, water supplies and the environment from Coal Seam Gas extraction.

"It is clear Planning Minister Brad Hazzard is unable to do the right thing by farming communities or our environment.

"Mr Hazzard no longer enjoys the support of his cabinet and partyroom colleagues on this issue.

"It took the NSW Labor Opposition to release the O'Farrell Government's aquifer interference policy yesterday – which is completely at odds with the Liberals and Nationals' pre-election commitments.

"It is time for Mr O'Farrell to intervene and deliver on his election promises to regional communities around NSW."

Acting Shadow Minister for Resources and Primary Industries, Mick Veitch said regional communities had every right to be outraged with the National Party for breaking their election commitments.

"The O'Farrell Government has betrayed farming communities and broken their election promises to protect prime agricultural land, water supplies and the environment from Coal Seam Gas extraction," he said.

"Under the O'Farrell Government's strategic land use policy, no prime agricultural land is protected from mining or Coal Seam Gas operations.

"The biggest mines in the State will be specifically excluded from having to obtain aquifer interference approvals, despite ironclad promises before the election that all proponents would have to comply with the new regime.

"Under Barry O'Farrell, wastewater from Coal Seam Gas operations will be redirected into rivers, aquifers, agricultural land and even our drinking water supply.

"Each of these decisions represents a major breach of faith with the people who elected Barry O'Farrell to office – particularly in regional NSW."