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May 15, 2021

CSG opponents ‘extremists’: Stoner

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Deputy premier and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner branded coal-seam gas opponents as ‘extremists’ at the National Party conference on the weekend and said ‘nothing would please them’.

He has sent the strongest message yet that he will not deal with CSG activists and the government will not back away from encouraging CSG mining in the state.

‘I send a message that the extremists in that debate will never be pleased no matter what, so we won’t be dealing with them. We will be dealing with people who make constructive suggestions as to how we can protect our farm future whilst also reaping the benefits of resource development,’ he told the ABC’s Rural Report this morning.

The party’s Lismore state electoral council has backed a motion calling on the government not to issue any further exploration licences or allow work on expired licences until there is a federal inquiry into the industry. But it seems their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

However Mr Stoner has announced some changes to the way gas mining will proceed in the state, including:

  • removing the five-year royalty holiday that previously applied to CSG activities in NSW
  • creating a standardised agreement with landholders for all CSG activities
  • appointing a land and water commissioner who will oversee the application of the agreements
  • establishing new regional community funds, which will see local communities receive a share of their region’s assets; nut communities not affected by CSG will not have access to the funds.

He added that the government would ‘continue to refine’ the draft Strategic Regional Land Use policy over the next few months ‘to ensure NSW has the strongest regulation of mining and gas extraction in Australia, if not the world’.

CSG miner Santos has admitted in a statement that the scrapping of the royalty period would cost the industry money but it welcomed Mr Stoner’s speech ‘as a clear sign the government is committed to the success of the industry’.

Mr Stoner said that the standardised agreement would be developed by a working group made up of NSW farmers, irrigators, cotton growers, and the coal-seam gas industry, and the application of these agreements would be overseen by the new Land and Water Commissioner.

The commissioner will report to the director general of the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services.

‘The role will complement the federal government’s newly established interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee,’ he said.

Money received by the regional community funds would provide funding ‘critical infrastructure or human services’ projects, with priorities to be determined ‘in consultation with the industry and the community’.

Under the proposed framework, coal-seam gas producers ‘may elect to contribute funding into a regional community fund’ he said.

The sweetener for the industry is that the state government ‘will refund $1 for every $2 committed by industry, up to 10 per cent of the royalty take’.


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10 COMMENTS

  1. It is not his children getting sick or roads and dams on his land, there is too much unknown, the partys state electoral council even wants a hold on it until further enquiry. This is too big a risk,
    where are the elected people coming from, it seems the extremists are in the majority as evidenced by the 7000+ strong March in lismore last month. Vested power?

  2. The whole idea is to convert power stations from coal to gas. Gas emits 60% CO2 of coal.
    Aren’t the CSG protestors defeating their own purpose?
    Australian coal-fired power stations have and use the best carbon scrubbing tecnology in the world.
    When you see on TV all that white ‘cloudy stuff’ effusing from the power stations, that is STEAM (water vapour) from the cooling towers. Look for the tall thin chimney/s nearby and that is where what’s left of the CO2 comes out after scrubbing.
    Look closely, you will see bugger all coming out of them.

    • WHO’S idea is that, Peggy? Certainly not mine but because I oppose the idiocy of CSG, I’m labelled an extremist by STONER. The thing that poos me is he has media ear and I don’t. I’m for solar. And what you watch on TV is what you’re fed, Peggy. Wake up and look at alternative media and research facts rather than offering mindless opinion.

  3. Sounds like typical LNP lies and half truths to me. Setting up a committee will not alleviate landholders desire to have absolutely nothing to do with this noxious toxic industry. Stoner is a fool and extremist. LOCK THE GATE!!!

  4. Nothing would please us? Oh yes it would. Getting rid of coal seam gas would please us immensely along with coal mining. What is it about ‘no’ they don’t understand?

  5. Does Stoner have a mandate to represent the people or the big corporate pollutting bastards? One wonders whether this is ignorance, stupidity or just plain corruption.

  6. Absolute disgrace, either they are EXTreMELY out of touch, or they are absolutely fooling themselves and blinded by the $$$$, I think number 2. Nationals, you will not win a single seat in areas that are threatened by CSG, (95% of NSW) and we will not forget your contempt for the people who voted you in, and yes I WAS one of them.

  7. I dislike being labelled an extremist because I have a different view from Mr Stoner. Yes – I want to see CSG stopped because of all the professional people who I’ve heard speak about the benefits of CSG, including scientists, environmental scientists, psychologists, the only people I’ve heard speak for it are those being paid by the CSG mining companies.

    I dislike being labelled as an extremist because I don’t want to see the land and animals near and around the evaporation ponds poisoned and the aquifers tainted with toxic chemicals in a process that cannot be reversed.

    I dislike being called an extremist because I see the writing on the wall and know that if we don’t begin to invest in renewable energy it will be our children and grandchildren who are left without any environmental beauty or diversity and who are left to clean up the mess.

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