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Media Release: Federal pollies could do more about invasive gasfields

Media release 21st August 2013:

An Environmental Defenders Office report released today confirms that the Federal Parliament has wide constitutional powers to control invasive gasfield development and that far-reaching national reforms are possible.

Spokesperson for CSG-Free Northern Rivers, Aidan Ricketts said today “This is a real election issue in Page and Richmond where we know that over 87% of voters want the Northern Rivers to remain free of invasive industrial gasfields. Whilst the sitting Federal MPs have been successful in getting a water trigger added to federal legislation (Environmental Protection and Bio-diversity Conservation Act), there is much more that can be done. In Page both major party candidates are on the record as opposing the industry for this region, but we need much more specific commitments about what they and their parties would actually do in the parliament”

The Lock The Gate Alliance’s national campaign, Call to Country identifies nine major reforms that could be implemented, including ground-breaking proposals for:

1.     A new national law to protect food-producing land from coal and gas mining and give farmers the right to reject mining on their land.

2.     A national Environmental Protection Authority and a new Clean Air and Water Act to protect human health and water resources.

3.     Amendments to the Customs Act to prohibit exports of coal and gas from areas important to the protection of existing Australian industries, significant natural resources and communities. 

“The Federal Government and Opposition have been trying to pass the buck on coal and gas mining to state governments, stating that they have no power to act,” said Carmel Flint, Campaign Co-ordinator with Lock The Gate Alliance.

“In fact, the report confirms that the loopholes and laissez fare approach taken by state governments makes Federal intervention an urgent priority”, Ms Flint said

The report comes after a Lock The Gate Alliance analysis of party policy and action on coal seam gas and coal mining, released last week, showed that Labor, Liberals and Nationals were all failing to take reasonable action.

“With the only leadership in parliament coming from the minor parties, we’re calling on all Federal politicians to now step up to the plate, and commit to national law reforms to protect farming communities, public health, water resources and Australian industries.”

 

To view the report by the EDO go to https://www.tai.org.au/index.php?q=node%2F19&pubid=1214&act=display

Lock the Gates analysis of party positions on coal and gasfield issues: http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/lockthegate/pages/582/attachments/original/1376339310/The_Country_is_Calling_Final_Report_August12th2013.pdf?1376339310

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