States must regulate csg industry
FEDERAL Page MP Janelle Saffin has said the Federal Government is doing all it can to regulate the coal seam gas industry but that more pressure needs to be put on State Governments in the area.
She also rejected claims the government had missed an opportunity by not supporting a proposed Australian Greens Bill that would have imposed Federal regulation on the industry.
She said the proposal by Greens Senator Larissa Waters was simplistic and would not have given any further protection to water from the threat of coal seam gas.
"I have undertaken extensive research on this matter of Federal-State power and water and it is not possible for the Federal Government to simply appropriate all power over water to itself," she said.
Instead she threw her weight behind a proposal by independent Tony Windsor, which she said better reflected constitutional arrangements and the partnership approach between the Federal and State governments to environmental protection.
"The Federal Government has taken action I lobbied for as well, (that is) considering if the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act could be utilised to step into this area," she said.
"The advice was yes, but it is limited."
She said the government had established a scientific committee to advise on coal seam gas and undertake water resource assessments.
"I've been on the case since the coal seam gas issue erupted in our area, but I've been pushing to ensure that where the Federal Government had some limited power we've been able to use that to do what we could," she said.
"That's happened, and we just need to keep putting pressure where it belongs, with the States."