Labor committed to protecting Central Coast from CSG

-->

The NSW Opposition has today reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the people and environment of the Central Coast from coal seam gas.

Labor is continuing to call for a statewide moratorium on coal seam gas activity until the NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane’s recommendations have been implemented in full.

Labor is committed to securing:

  1. A moratorium on CSG activity on the Central Coast: including suspension of all existing CSG exploration licences, and no new exploration or extraction licences. The moratorium should not be lifted unless the industry is proven safe, resolving concerns identified by the NSW Chief Scientist.
  2. Defined permanent no-go zones: Some areas warrant permanent protection. On the Central Coast these include:
    1. A 2 kilometre buffer around urban or residential areas; and
    2. A 2 kilometre buffer around National Parks including Bouddi, Brisbane Water, Dharug, Ku-ring-gai Chase, Popran, Yengo, Wallarah, Watagans, Werakata and Wyrrabalong National Parks; CSG is permanently banned from the Parks themselves.
  3. Permanent CSG ban covering core drinking water catchments of the Central Coast, including the Mangrove water catchment, to protect the water quality of local communities from inappropriate CSG development.

“Labor went to the election with a strong commitment to protect the whole state from the risks posed by coal seam gas,” Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle said.

“We will continue to fight for the people of the Central Coast until there is a moratorium on CSG statewide, and a permanent ban in specific areas and water catchments on the Central Coast.”

Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe said: “The Liberal Government has rolled out the red carpet for CSG on the Central Coast and across the state – despite the unknown long-term environmental impacts.

“Mike Baird has proudly stated his government ‘absolutely’ wants coal seam gas. Until the science is in, and all of the Chief Scientist’s recommendations are implemented, we won't support it."

The Liberal Government has failed to cancel the PEL 2 licence held by AGL, covering Mangrove Dam on the Central Coast and the Warragamba, Woronora, Cordeaux and Avon Dams. PEL 2 also covers the surrounding agricultural land and bushland west of the M1.

In 2011, the Liberals guaranteed that Wallarah 2 would never proceed, then backflipped on that commitment following the election.

Shadow Minister for the Central Coast David Harris said: “The people of the Central Coast made their position very clear at the election – let’s hit the pause button on coal seam gas.

“Labor is committed to protecting our environment and the health of Central Coast residents from CSG. We need a moratorium on CSG activity until the Chief Scientist’s concerns are addressed.”

Member for Gosford Kathy Smith said: “As Member for Gosford, I am taking the fight for clean water and agricultural land to Macquarie Street.

“The people of Gosford voted to stop CSG until the science is in – that’s what I’ll be advocating for until it is achieved.” 

Member for the Entrance David Mehan said: “Our beautiful National Parks and our homes should be safe from the risk posed by unrestrained coal seam gas.

“Many locals I’ve spoken to are concerned about the threat to our drinking water.”