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Greens welcome NSW coal seam gas inquiry

Austinmer Beach, Sunday May 29, 2011

Greens Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters has welcomed the announcement that the NSW Legislative Council will conduct an inquiry into the coal seam gas industry.

“While the Queensland government has given the go-ahead for an unbridled stampede into the unknown, the NSW parliament will investigate the CSG industry’s impact on the environment, particularly on groundwater and on good agricultural land,” Senator Waters said.

“Tellingly, the inquiry will also consider whether CSG really is cleaner than coal on a whole-of-lifecycle basis, rather than just accepting the industry’s word for it.

“New South Wales coal seam gas is a few years behind Queensland’s rampant gas rush and this inquiry presents a critical opportunity to apply a precautionary approach – to ensure all decisions are made fully informed of the threats this industry poses to our environment, health and to New South Wales’ agricultural sector.

“The Queensland government has instead thrown caution to the wind and allowed unfettered access to Queenslanders’ precious water and limited food-producing land, despite admitting uncertainty about long term impacts on the Great Artesian Basin.

“The federal government has ticked off on three of the four major Queensland projects under its outdated national environmental laws, which don’t require the impacts on groundwater, food security or the climate to be considered.

“The evidence I have heard in the hearings of the federal Senate inquiry into the effects of coal seam gas on the Murray Darling Basin has confirmed the need for a moratorium on any new CSG approvals until the full long term impacts of the industry on our groundwater, food security, rural communities, threatened species and the climate are known,” said Senator Waters.

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