The Coal Seam Gas industry will be put under the micoscope when the NSW Northern Rivers are scientifically assessed. The impact on the region’s water and environment will be reviewed by the Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced today.
Source: The Daily Examiner
THE Northern Rivers is to be one of the first regions to undergo a detailed scientific assessment of the impact of coal seam gas mining, including impacts on the region’s water, Member for Page Janelle Saffin announced today.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, has announced the first regions to be assessed by the Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining, to provide better information for decision makers to ensure protection of water resources.
Ms Saffin said the Northern Rivers is in the Clarence-Moreton Basin, one of the five priority areas announced.
“The news that our area is a priority for scientific assessment is particularly welcome given the mounting community alarm about CSG.
“There is a groundswell of concern led by residents, landholders and local governments against the exploration and mining of CSG and the impact such activity may have on water resources.
“While mining and water resources come under State powers, I have been pushing the Federal Government to use what limited powers it has to protect the environment and our water.
“In November last year the Government announced a new scientific framework and a National Partnerships Agreement on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal mining to ensure all future decisions about coal seam gas projects are based on the most rigorous scientific evidence available.
“I wrote to Minister Burke asking that the Northern Rivers be put forward to the Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee for consideration as a priority area for environmental assessment.
“I am pleased that the needs of our area have now been recognised,” Ms Saffin said.
Under the National Partnership Agreement, which NSW signed this month, signatory governments are required to seek the committee’s advice when considering applications that potentially have direct or indirect impacts on water resources.