Page MP Janelle Saffin in Parliament.
Page MP Janelle Saffin in Parliament.

Saffin says CSG has no social licence

PAGE MP Janelle Saffin has reiterated her call for a moratorium on CSG activity until a recently established independent scientific statutory committee has conducted bioregional assessments on water quality.

Speaking in Parliament last night, Ms Saffin described CSG as a "vexed issue" on the Northern Rivers with overwhelming community opposition.

"Until we know the result of that process my view is there should be no coal seam gas mining activity at all on the land," she said.

"Overwhelmingly the community is saying no. State government legislation says yes, and one local company, Metgasco, says this gives them a social licence because they have the approval of the state government.

"But they do not have community acceptance and therefore they do not have the social licence."

Ms Saffin also quoted from a 2010 National Water Commission position statement that said, "CSG development represents a substantial risk to sustainable water management given the combination of material uncertainty about water impacts, the significance of potential impacts, and the long time period over which they may emerge and continue to have effect".

"The consequences of not managing the water risks and uncertainties associated with the economic benefits of CSG are substantial," Ms Saffin said.

Ms Saffin then raised the more recent concern of fugitive emissions.

"People have been asking me whether fugitive emissions arising from coal seam gas are part of the whole carbon scheme, meaning the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory," she said.

"Yes, they are, and the methods for coal seam gas are currently being reviewed by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency as part of the annual review of emissions estimation methods."

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