The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed today’s release of the Federal Senate Inquiry’s Interim Report on the impact of coal seam gas on the Murray Darling Basin, and calls on Federal and state governments to urgently implement its recommendations.
“The Senate Inquiry’s interim report has sounded a dire warning that short‐term coal seam gas development must not be allowed to undermine or permanently damage the long‐term health of Australia’s agriculture and natural areas,” Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“The report’s findings are a damning indictment of the ongoing failure of Federal and state governments to rein in destructive coal seam gas activities and ‘cowboy’ behaviour by exploration companies.
“Today’s report has confirmed our firm belief that the coal seam gas industry represents a major threat to the future health of the Murray‐Darling Basin.
“The Nature Conservation Council welcomes the proposed moratorium on coal seam gas production in areas of the Murray‐Darling overlying the Great Artesian Basin, pending further scientific modelling of potential impacts from coal seam gas extraction.
“The coal seam gas industry is being allowed to conduct a massive experiment with our nation’s precious water resources. It’s time government and industry was held to account. We need to take a precautionary, scientific approach today rather than gambling with a so‐called ‘adaptive’ approach to CSG regulation.
“We support the recognition in the report of the potential impacts of coal seam gas development on natural areas, and the inquiry’s call for places like NSW’s Pilliga forest to be protected from destructive gas development.
“In the Pilliga, the site of NSW’s largest coal seam gas field proposal, we’ve already seen severe environmental impacts, extremely poor regulation and a lack of compliance and enforcement with even weak rules during the exploration phase.
“In the Namoi Catchment, coal seam gas is targeting both productive farmland and the most significant bushland, squandering precious resources and changing rural communities irrevocably. We welcome the inquiry’s call for approval of coal seam gas activities to be halted in the Namoi until regional water studies are completed.
“It is essential that Federal and state governments take action to implement the recommendations of the report, to protect Australia’s water resources, iconic natural places and our most valuable farmland,” Mr Clarke said.
Report highlights compiled by the Nature Conservation Council attached below.
|Report Highlights [CSG Inquiry] 111130.pdf||124.7 KB|