'CSG bill fails it's first test'

A GREENS bill for a moratorium on coal-seam gas mining has been voted down in the NSW upper house.

Crossbenchers have sided with the government in opposing the proposal.

NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham last year introduced his bill for a 12-month stay on CSG mining and yesterday in the Upper House it was defeated by 19 votes to 16.

Speaking before the vote Mr Buckingham called for a "pause" in the controversial and increasingly unpopular extraction process, saying it would be a dereliction of duty to oppose it.

"The coal-seam gas industry is at war with the NSW community; people are absolutely fed up with what they see as an assault on their way of life, on their businesses and on the future prosperity of their communities," Mr Buckingham told MPs in the Upper House.

"It is dividing communities, contaminating land and destroying biodiversity right now in this state.

"A pause is appropriate. It respects the most basic principle of ecologically sustainable development.

"To reject it out of hand and to put at risk the capacity of the state to feed itself, to sustain our communities and to keep them resilient is a dereliction of duty."

Labor MPs sided with the Greens in backing the moratorium but the Shooters and Fishers Party and Christian Democrats voted against the bill.



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