In response to the announcement made by Anthony Roberts, Member for Lane Cove and Minister for Resources and Energy on Thursday 13th November, Labor Candidate for Lane Cove, Andrew Zbik said that “The member for Lane Cove has squibbed it. Labor’s policy on Coal Seam Gas is more comprehensive and provides far greater certainty for communities who have rightly expressed strong concerns about this growing and under-regulated industry.”
“The people of NSW will not be fooled”, Mr Zbik said, “Mr Robert’s announcement is effectively a green light for Coal Seam Gas exploration in NSW”.
NSW Labor supports a complete moratorium on the coal seam gas industry, including a suspension of all coal seam gas exploration licences and a stop to the issuing of any further extraction licences until a tight regulatory framework based on independent science can be established. “It’s increasingly clear” Mr Zbik said, “without further independent scientific evidence we simply don’t know what long term impact the Coal Seam Gas industry may have on our regions.”
“Lane Cove residents are rightly very concerned about the protection of the environment, not just here in Lane Cove but all over New South Wales."
“While we are happy that Anthony Roberts has finally supported Labor’s position to cease Coal Seam Gas exploration in National Parks and crucial water catchment areas, Mr Robert’s announcement still leaves many NSW communities in a very precarious position.”
“Mr Robert’s announcement does nothing for the popular holiday destination of the Northern Rivers, for instance, which remains totally vulnerable to Coal Seam Gas exploration. The people of the Northern Rivers are well aware that the threat of permanent damage to aquifer and groundwater from fracking is very real. The NSW Labor Leader, John Robertson, has made it clear that NSW Labor would institute a total ban on Coal Seam Gas in the Northern Rivers to protect the region.”
Mr Zbik said “It is very disappointing that our local member has left so many NSW communities in the lurch by not joining NSW Labor’s call for a complete ban on Coal Seam Gas exploration until we better understand the impacts of this little understood gas extraction technique”.