Federal Greens candidate for Richmond, Dawn Walker, says she is ‘stunned’ that the Coalition has included coal seam gas in the Draft North Coast Regional Plan despite the recent hugely successful community campaign to keep the region gasfield free.
And she is urging the local community to use the current exhibition period to speak up against it.
Ms Walker said it was ‘disingenuous of the Liberals and Nationals to pretend the Plan’s reference to coal seam gas is an oversight’.
‘If they reject any intention of developing the resource, then they need to remove references of it from the plan and clearly declare the North Coast off-limits to any coal or gas mining in perpetuity,’ she said.
‘Nowhere in the plan does it mention the overwhelming community opposition to coal seam gas mining.
‘Nor does it meet the community’s expectations of a permanent legislative protection from coal seam gas for the northern rivers.’
Ms Walker said the reference to CSG in the plan was even more alarming when the government’s recent anti-protest laws were taken into account.
‘It’s time for this government to come out of the fossil fuel dinosaur age and embrace this community’s zest for cutting edge innovation, creativity and an ecologically sustainable future.
‘The Greens are actively speaking on these issues in parliament, but we need the community to get behind us.
‘Every voice counts, so even a brief submission calling for the north coast to be permanently protected from coal and gas mining will send a loud message to government that shows we won’t be bamboozled,’ Ms Walker said.
The deadline for submissions is 2 June 2016 and can be made on NSW Planning’s website.
There is an information session on the Draft North Coast Regional Plan at 10:30 am on 27 April at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club Corner Wharf & Florence Street, Tweed Heads. RSVP [email protected] to confirm your attendance.