Farmers concerns about CSG vindicated.

NSW Farmers said today that an initial report released by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer confirmed what the association had been saying for years about coal seam gas - that there was a lack of data and good science behind the industry.

Fiona Simson, President NSW Farmers, said the report also confirmed community concerns by acknowledging that CSG extraction posed human health and environmental challenges.

 

“We are pleased to see the initial report vindicates a lot of what we, as farmers, have been expressing concerns about for a long time,” she said.

 

“It’s not that we are against the industry, but the issue is there is a real lack of data and good science to demonstrate the safety of many of the industry’s activities,” Ms Simson said.

 

“In addition to this, the science and work that has been done is rarely been made available to the public in a fully transparent fashion.

 

“The Chief Scientist has recognised this issue and called for a whole-of-environment data repository for all state environment data as well as a whole-of-state subsidence baseline survey to be done.”

 

Ms Simson said the Chief Scientist herself stated that: “The issue of CSG is a very tough one and requires a commitment from government to sound policy implementation based on highly developed data.”

 

“We couldn’t agree more and we are calling on the NSW Government to get serious about addressing some of these valid and long held concerns instead of continuing to cave into the demands of the gas industry,” she said.

 

“It is obvious that the government is under enormous pressure from the resources industry with the recent release of proposed amendments to one of its state environment planning policies that attempts to give priority to the significance of a resource over and above other considerations such as the environment and communities.

 

“That is an extremely disappointing approach for a government to take and it flies in the face of the initial recommendations made in the Chief Scientist’s report,” Ms Simson concluded.

 

NSW Farmers looks forward to the further results and reports from the Chief Scientist’s review which are expected to continue into next year.
 

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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