Legislation to support landholders’ right to say no to coal seam gas was voted down in the NSW Legislative Assembly yesterday. Greens MP Jamie Parker moved amendments to the Petroleum (Onshore) Act that would have legislated the right for landholders to refuse an access agreement to a miner to enter their land. The amendment would have scrapped the compulsory arbitration sections of the Act, meaning any access agreement would have to be voluntary.
The vote was lost with only the Greens MP Jamie Parker and Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich in favour of the amendments.
‘This vote was a test on whether many local members believe their constituents have the right to say no to the exploration or mining of coal seam gas on their property. In the eyes of the community, many local members failed this test tonight,’ said Greens spokesperson on mining MP Jeremy Buckingham.
‘The National Party, Tony Abbott and Ian MacFarlane are running around the country saying that mining should not occur on farms if the farmer doesn’t want it. Yet, when these state Liberal and National MPs had a chance to put those sentiments into the law, they baulked.
‘[These members] should explain why they voted to allow gas companies to continue to be able to force their way onto farms in NSW.
‘It is now clear that the Greens are the only party that wants to give farmers the right to say no to coal seam gas on productive agricultural land.’
The Bill will now move to the Legislative Council for debate.