Monday, 01 April
Senator Larissa Waters
Australian Greens Senator for Queensland
Revelations today that the Queensland Government did not properly assess the impacts of major coal seam gas projects prove we need federal protection for water supplies, say the Australian Greens.
ABC reports<http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3727070.htm> show there was not enough time or information for staff to assess the environmental impacts of Santos' and Queensland Gas Company's coal seam gas projects in Southern Queensland.
"Coal seam gas mining is going full steam ahead without full examination of the impacts on our precious water resources," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.
"The hurried, ill-informed tick-off of these massive projects shows the old parties are so wedded to the mining industry they're even sacrificing the water that underpins our regional communities to please mining magnates.
"We need to place a moratorium on coal seam gas projects until we fully understand the consequences that key expert bodies, including the National Water Commission and CSIRO, are warning us about.
"In an age of food insecurity, it's crazy to be rushing through coal seam gas projects by ignoring potentially disastrous impacts on our farmland and water supplies.
"Only after approving these and other major coal seam gas projects did the Federal Government belatedly listen to calls from the community and the Greens and introduce water protection laws.
"It's disgraceful that Australia's two biggest coal seam gas projects have slipped through government approvals without any idea of how severely they will contaminate our water supplies and lower the water table.
"The mining industry is even trying to get rid of the new federal protection for water from future coal seam gas projects.
"They're lobbying the government to take away this new protection and they've locked in Tony Abbott, who has said he will palm off this new water protection to his state cronies.
"We must lock the gate and Abbott proof the fence - the Gillard Government needs to bring forward legislation to federally protect water supplies from coal seam gas and large coal mines before Parliament rises so that Tony Abbott doesn't ever have the chance to let state governments pass more coal seam gas projects without properly assessing them," Senator Waters said.