Labor's proposed CSG moratorium not enough, say opponents

A VOTE-GRABBING coal seam gas strategy by NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley may not go far enough say local members and lobby groups.

As part of his campaign launch, Mr Foley announced that Labor would impose a moratorium on CSG activity in NSW.

He said: "We must pause and take the time to get the science right - and there's some places that should be permanently off limits to coal seam gas activity".

Under a Labor government, there would also be a permanent ban on CSG activity on the NSW North Coast, said Mr Foley.

"And there'll be the same ban in the special areas of the Sydney drinking water catchment. ."

However, Lismore Greens candidate Adam Guise questioned how long a moratorium would last and said it was not a ban.

"We need to stop pursuing dirty coal seam gas and embrace a job rich clean energy future."

Mr Guise added: "This is the policy Labor announced last year, and it raises the same questions.

"If it's worth banning invasive gas mining on the North Coast why doesn't this apply to Gloucester and The Pilliga? Contamination of air and water doesn't stop at electoral boundaries."

Gasfield Free Northern Rivers Co-ordinator Dean Draper said while the moratorium was a step in the right direction, what was needed was a total ban across NSW.

Nationals member for Lismore Thomas George called the policy "kneejerk" and "a shallow gimmick in an attempt to weasel votes from the Greens".

"Where was Labor when these licences were being granted?" he said.

"Did they ask if the lack of regulation and oversight would put our water, agricultural land and environment at risk?

"Frankly Labor should have already apologised to the people of NSW and kept quiet while the Liberals and Nationals Government continued to clean up their mess.

"Labor has no credibility when it comes to regulating the gas industry."

Country Labor candidate for Lismore Isaac Smith defended the policy.

"I am proud Luke Foley has listened to our community and announced this policy," he said.

"To stop CSG across the Northern Rivers, everyone must number every box and put Thomas George last."

Today at 11am representatives of Gasfield Free Northern Rivers will deliver over 2000 signed letters to candidates for the Ballina Electorate at the Nationals Campaign office.



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