No areas off limits to mining and coal seam gas in NSW - Strategic regional land use policy a betrayal


The O'Farrell Stoner Government's strategic regional land use policy is a resounding departure from their pre-election commitments to the people of NSW – and fails to declare any part of the State off limits to mining or coal seam gas drilling.

The policy handed down today by the O'Farrell Stoner Government:

Lifts the moratorium on fracking;
Fails to ring fence prime agricultural land from mining and coal seam gas;
Gives no protection to important conservation lands from mining and coal seam gas;
Gives the green light to mining and coal seam gas in water catchment areas; and
Fails to ban evaporation ponds for coal seam gas wastewater, and instead renames them as 'temporary holding ponds' that will be allowed to go ahead.
"The Liberals and Nationals are trying to swindle the people of NSW with a policy that does nothing to protect prime agricultural land, high value conservation land and water resources from mining and coal seam gas," Shadow Planning Minister, Linda Burney said today.

"Not one hectare of NSW is off limits to mining and coal seam gas drilling under the O'Farrell Stoner Government, contrary to their pre-election promise of no go areas.

"Prime agricultural land has been offered a second rate 'gateway' process that still won't address the very real threat to our food bowl from mining and coal seam gas.

"This gateway process isn't even regulated, so the government can bypass it at any point.

"Farmers have every right to be furious with the Liberals and Nationals for letting them down."

Shadow Minister for Environment, Luke Foley said: "The O'Farrell Government's mapping isn't worth the paper it is written on."

"The government has created map after map, but failed to protect high value conservation land from mining and coal seam gas.

"Leard State Forest is mapped by the government as tier one biodiversity land, yet it is being bulldozed for an open cut mine.

"On Saturday, residents of Lismore voted in a referendum on coal seam gas with a massive 87 per cent vote against coal seam gas mining in the region."

Shadow Minister for Primary Industries and Resources, Steve Whan said: "Before the election, Nationals candidates talked tough and promised to ring fence areas, but today they have just rolled over."

"There are no areas ring fenced, not even critical wine and tourism areas like Pokolbin. Voters in those National Party electorates have every right to feel that they were misled by their members."