A successful motion at the NSW Farmers annual conference has unanimously supported a demand for baseline water and soil studies before mining and CSG operations are undertaken.
The motion calling for ‘comprehensive and independent baseline water and soil studies’ was put by Narrabri District Council Chair Matthew Norrie at the Sydney conference yesterday.
Mr Norrie said the action was an indication that New South Wales farmers were ‘craving adequate and robust scientific information in relation to the CSG and mining industries and more sophisticated public debate on this highly contentious issue’.
‘Often the message gets clouded with emotion. We’re not here to scaremonger. We’re farmers and the health of our natural resource base is absolutely vital to the viability of our industry. With adequate testing regimes, we can at least have an informed debate on this issue,’ Mr Norrie said.
‘Baseline data is the key. You need to know what you’re starting with before you can assess an impact. It also ties into the liability issue, which the Chief Scientist of NSW has admitted herself is a flawed and hugely grey area.
‘Assessing long term impact and the liability of companies as to damage to water or land resources starts with the baseline.
‘I’m pleased members were behind our district council on this issue and the motion was passed unanimously,’ Mr Norrie said.