Greens MP Jamie Parker yesterday presented a 10,000-strong petition against coal seam gas to state parliament yesterday, with residents calling for the cancellation of all existing unconventional gas exploration licences in the Northern Rivers region.
The petitioners are requesting that the region be declared a coal seam gas, tight sands gas and unconventional gas mining free zone and that all current licences and/or leases that allow any such activity be revoked and no such new licences or leases be granted.
Mr Parker told ABC radio this morning that it was ‘ironic’ it fell to him, a Sydney-based MP, to present the petition.
‘It is ironic that I’m the one that is presenting that voice, not their local members because the local members simply don’t support the community on this issue.’
Mr Parker also spoke in support of the community movement in parliament.
‘It’s inspiring to see such a strong consensus emerge in steadfast opposition to this damaging industry,’ he said.
‘Coal seam gas has no social licence with local farmers, business people and residents across the political spectrum uniting to highlight the dangers of this industry to water, biodiversity and lifestyle.
‘Evidence of the devastating and long-lasting damage created by this industry continues to grow, and residents are right to unite against it.
‘Communities across NSW are uniting against coal seam gas and other damaging mining to protect the land and environment on which we all depend.
‘These dedicated campaigners are to be congratulated for their resolve in highlighting this important issue.
‘The government must listen to the 10,000 voices on this petition – they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to community opposition to this harmful industry,’ Mr Parker said.