IN THIS SECTION:
NSW cracks down on coal and coal seam gas exploration
22 July 2011
The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the announcement by the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Chris Hartcher that tougher restrictions will apply for coal and coal seam gas exploration and mining in NSW.
NFF Vice-President and Chair of the Mining and Coal Seam Gas Taskforce, Duncan Fraser, has welcomed the move by the NSW Government to ban the use of toxic chemicals, ensure greater public consultation, enforce stronger environmental requirements and extend the moratorium on fraccing until 31 December.
“This is a very positive move by the NSW Government to recognise the concerns of farmers and the community regarding coal and coal seam gas developments,” Mr Fraser said.
“Ensuring more stringent controls around fraccing, chemical use and the impact of exploration and mining on our water resources have long been concerns of affected communities, farmers and NFF’s members, including the NSW Farmers’ Association, who have lobbied long and hard on this issue.
“We are extremely pleased with the NSW Government’s decision that a water access licence must be held by any coal or coal seam gas developer who intends to extract more than three megalitres per year of groundwater. This is a landmark regulation– particularly as the full impacts of coal and coal seam gas exploration and mining on our invaluable water resources are not yet understood,” Mr Fraser said.
“While we think it is unfortunate that the Government has had to regulate how companies interact with farmers and communities over these issues, we believe such action will set an important benchmark for minimum best practice. However, an objective should be for companies to go beyond this and address past actions, particularly with those landholders who may have inequitable land access arrangements.
“This is certainly a positive development in the ongoing debate around land use in NSW and has set a precedent for Governments across the country to follow.
“The NFF will continue to work with our members in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to ensure similarly positive outcomes are achieved,” Mr Fraser said.
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