It’s been almost a year since the people of Sydney’s inner west learned that their homes were at risk from coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in their neighbourhood and sadly in that time nothing has changed.
On Sunday I joined around 2000 fellow Sydney residents deeply concerned about the granting of a CSG exploration licence in St Peters. The Greens have a long history of standing up for rural communities threatened by the mining industry but having to fight against such activities in the middle of suburbia begins a worrying new chapter in this type of campaigning and shows just how far behind the eight ball NSW laws are.
In Queensland such protests would never have to take place as CSG mining is banned within 2km of a residential area, yet in NSW we face having it take place in one of the most densely populated parts of the country. This could result in a whole spate of new health issues created for the community, on top of all the environmental dangers of CSG that we’re only just starting to come to terms with.
I will therefore be doing all I can on Council to make sure coal seam gas doesn’t invade our suburbs while my Greens colleagues in state parliament are working to have a 12 month moratorium placed on the industry state-wide. This will allow for proper scientific studies of it’s health and environmental effects to be carried out and allow the industry, which currently operates in a secretive and unaccountable fashion, to be safely managed. A petition calling for the moratorium can be found here.