Farmers frustrated with government’s CSG policy announcement

NSW Farmers today expressed its frustration at the latest tranche of reforms to coal seam gas regulations in NSW.

Association President Fiona Simson said: "We are unimpressed the NSW Government cannot affect real and meaningful rules around coal seam gas that provide certainty for landholders and exploration companies alike.”

Her comments followed the government’s announcement today that it had finalised exclusion zones and safeguards to protect homes and farmland from coal seam gas projects across 5.3 million hectares in NSW.

"We are not opposed to coal seam gas and extraction. But we do insist on a suite of strong safeguards to protect agricultural land and water, as well as a level playing field between the landholder and the exploration company when it comes to negotiations.

"The insistence on proceeding with a flawed gateway process is beyond comprehension. While we welcome the increased mapping that has been done across the state, it means little when the only additional hurdle is a gateway process that has no mechanism to stop inappropriate development. It’s simple really - put a gate in the gateway.

"We see exclusion zones for urban communities and not farm residences. We see exclusion zones for some select industries. That is great for those areas but it has left many people living in rural areas feeling like second class citizens.

"Today’s announcement adds nothing in terms of protection of agricultural land and water. It is window dressing to appease metropolitan voters. We will continue to advocate for the measures that we believe need to be put in place for our members’ protection," concluded Ms Simson.

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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