|Senator Larissa Waters|
Senator Larissa Waters
Australian Greens Senator for Queensland
The government's proposed protection for water resources from coal seam gas and large coal mines will be worthless if the government does not Abbott-proof environment law, say the Australian Greens.
"In senate debate today, the government made it clear that it will not lift a finger to stop Tony Abbott from handing over federal environment protection to his state cronies, who have let the coal seam gas industry run rampant," Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.
"It's great that the Gillard Government has finally decided to consider the devastating effects of coal seam gas on water resources through national environment law.
"But the government has not ruled out handing its power to administer national environment law to state governments and it's not doing anything to stop Tony Abbott from handing it over either, even though he has clearly stated he will if he has the chance.
"In a senate debate today, the government said it would not support my bill to stop the handover of national environment protection to state governments. This just makes them complicit given Tony Abbott's promise to put environmentally reckless premiers in charge of approving damaging development, including coal seam gas mining.
"Without my bill, there's nothing to stop Tony Abbott from handing over environment protection powers to state governments, including the new power to consider water impacts from coal seam gas and large coal mines.
"Again we see the government is all talk and no action on environment protection. It says it's going to look at the impacts of coal seam gas on water after it's approved massive coal seam gas projects and then it doesn't do anything to stop Tony Abbott from putting state governments in charge of checking these impacts," Senator Waters said.