Gas bill to put freeze on industry

GREENS MLC and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham will “put the coal seam gas industry in the freezer” if his Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill gets up when it is tabled in the NSW Parliament later this month.

The bill, which proposes to shut down all coal seam gas activity across the state for 12 months, was launched in Sydney yesterday.

“The bill is an important first step to allow a thorough investigation of this industry, which has a track record of polluting water and destroying agricultural and environmentally sensitive land,” Mr Buckingham said.

“The health and safety of people and the environment must come before the interests of multinational mining corporations.

“This industry has not been proved safe in regional, rural or metropolitan areas.”

The bill also seeks to permanently prohibit coal seam extraction in metropolitan areas.

Mr Buckingham said he would also be calling for an upper house inquiry to look at the science and possible ramifications of the industry.

The launch of the bill has been met with strong support from local opponents to the coal seam gas industry.

Mullumbimby activist Anthea Amore said the bill would be more effective than the NSW Government’s 60-day moratorium because unlike the current moratorium, it would include existing licences.

“A 12-month moratorium gives enough time for the data to be gathered on existing activities,” Ms Amore said.

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