We welcome the unanimous decision of Tweed Shire councillors to request the sugar cane industry be given critical industry cluster status, and said that the government must protect the region’s agricultural and tourism industries from coal seam gas.
Well done to Tweed Council for standing up for our sugar farmers against the toxic coal seam gas industry.
As an agriculture region, the north coast is crying out for protection from invasive gas fields.
Farming and coal seam gas cannot coexist and it is scandalous that the government has failed to offer even basic protection to our sugar, dairy and macadamia growers.
The government must put in place an open, transparent process for protecting important agriculture and tourism industries from the threat of coal seam gas.
The Greens have been calling for an open, transparent process for assessing critical industry clusters for over six months as there is still no clear protection in place for the North Coast food bowl and tourism industries.
Why is it that viticulture and equine industries in the Hunter have been granted protection from coal seam gas as critical industry clusters, but other valuable industries such as sugar, horticulture, cropping, dairy, oysters, and tourism have no protection?
The government has failed to apply the cluster regulation equitably or strategically and they now need to expand Critical Industry Cluster status to other industries.
It is clear that without an open or transparent process for making applications for critical industry cluster status the community can have no confidence in the government’s ability to regulate the coal seam gas industry.
Dawn Walker (Greens NSW Upper House candidate), Jeremy Buckingham (Greens mining spokesperson)