Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Adam Bandt MP, will today move an amendment to government legislation establishing a coal seam gas advisory committee, to press pause on further coal seam gas approvals while the five year research program of that committee is undertaken.
“The Greens welcome the establishment of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development under our federal environment laws, but it undercuts the purpose of the Committee to allow coal seam gas approvals to continue to roll out before that Committee completes its full five year research program,” said Mr Bandt.
“The Greens have twice moved in the Senate for a moratorium on coal seam gas, until we know whether it is safe for our land, our water, our climate, our Reef and our communities,” said Australian Greens Mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters.
“Each time, all the other parties have ignored the legitimate concerns of the community and water experts like the CSIRO and National Water Commission, and have voted against a moratorium and in favour of CSG mining giants continuing to ride rough shod over farmers and rural communities.
“The establishment of this new Committee is an acknowledgement that we need far more science to understand the real impacts of coal seam gas, but it is foolhardy to keep issuing approvals before we have the full scientific picture before us – we need a five year moratorium while that science is done.
“This amendment complements the two CSG bills I have before the Senate, one to give farmers the right to lock the gate against coal seam gas, and the other to empower the Environment Minister to make decisions about water – which would allow him to properly consider the advice of this new Committee on the water impacts of mining, not just tangentially when other nationally listed environmental matters are impacted.
“The Greens want to secure a safer future for Australians, with protection for our good food-producing land, our water and our environment from the dangers posed by the runaway CSG industry, and we are moving in both Houses of Parliament to do so,” Senator Waters said.