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NFF welcomes interim Independent Scientific Committee appointments

27 January 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) today has welcomed the appointment by the Australian Government of six experts to the interim Independent Scientific Committee to advise on the impacts of large coal mining and coal seam gas extraction on agricultural and environmental resources.

“The concern from many in the agricultural sector of the long term impacts of coal seam gas production and mining is palpable,” said Mr Jock Laurie, President of the NFF.

“The importance of establishing a scientific committee to provide independent advice to governments to assist their decisions under State, Territory and Federal legislation in relation to these developments cannot be underestimated.

“Today’s announcement is therefore a positive start in addressing farmer and rural community concerns about the impacts of mining and coal seam gas exploration on water and other valuable farm input resources.

“Those appointed to the Committee are known for their particular expertise in mining, geology, surface and ground water, hydrogeology, natural resources, soil and landscapes.

“The NFF urges all State Governments to adopt the advice of these experts ahead of the COAG approval process proposed by the Prime Minister and to ensure that the findings of this expert committee are taken into account when making decisions in accordance with their legislation, about projects proposed by these industries," Mr Laurie concluded.

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