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Government should back Greens bill on coal seam gas

Following the failure of the NSW Government to control coal seam gas mining, the Australian Greens are calling on the Gillard Government to support the Greens’ bill to protect our water resources from coal seam gas mining.

Senator Waters’ bill, first introduced in 2011, would add a ‘water trigger’ to our federal environmental laws which would give the Federal Government the power to approve or refuse coal seam gas developments based on their impact on water resources.

“It’s clear the government has no intention to address coal seam gas except when it is politically pressured to do so,” said Australian Greens Senator for Queensland and mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters.

“Tony Burke approved two big coal seam gas fields and the LNG plants in Gladstone Harbour within six weeks of becoming Environment Minister, and has not rejected a single coal seam gas activity since then.

“Labor has shown it’s not serious about regulating coal seam gas, and nor are the Liberals.

“The old parties are in the pocket of the mining industry and cannot be trusted to stand up for our land, our water and regional communities.

“Tony Windsor was able to secure an advisory committee on coal seam gas by agreeing to support the watered-down mining tax, but this committee is a toothless tiger.

“Labor MP Justine Elliot had to resign from the front bench in order to speak publicly against coal seam gas.

“This proves Labor is willing to let their backbenchers curry favour with their local communities to win votes, despite having no intention of changing their party policy on fossil fuels.

“Bob Katter’s proposed bill for a moratorium on coal seam gas is too little, too late after years of inaction in the Parliament on this issue. It is simply a cynical move to get his candidates elected.

“A moratorium is not enough – we need to stop coal seam gas to protect our environment, our climate and our way of life.”

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