- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Too little, too late on coal seam gas

Senator Larissa Waters
Australian Greens Senator for Queensland

March 12

The Federal Government's decision to consider impacts on water resources when assessing coal seam gas and coal mines is long overdue.

"The Government should have done this 18 months ago by backing the Greens bill to do exactly what is now proposed," Senator Christine Milne, the Leader of the Australian Greens, said.

"In that time, the Environment Minister has ticked off on every coal seam gas project that has crossed his desk.

"How convenient that all the big coal seam gas projects have already been approved and these belated changes won't affect them.

"The Minister should apply these new standards to all of the approvals he has granted, including the Gloucester coal seam gas project he approved a month ago," Senator Milne said.

"We congratulate the community, especially the Lock the Gate alliance, for their strong campaign to highlight the social and environmental dangers of this industry," Senator Waters, the Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.

"Today's announcement is a belated step in the right direction but unless the Minister stops approving things first and asking questions later nothing will change. It remains to be seen whether the Minister will actually refuse any coal or coal seam gas project, even in the face of the huge risks to our water.

"All of the expert institutions - the National Water Commission, CSIRO and the government's own independent scientific committee on coal seam gas - are warning of the devastating impacts of coal seam gas on our water and our land.

"The Minister must now apply these new rules to all previously approved coal seam gas projects and  stop approving new projects when we don't have enough information about the long-term impacts on our land, water and communities," Senator Waters said.

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