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Wednesday, 03 December 2014 08:08



Moree Plains Shire Council’s Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries is deeply dismayed that the Office of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) could issue permits for CSG exploration without consultation with Council, neighbouring properties, the wider community, and even land owners.


Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries said “This is a substantial reduction in the regulatory oversight of CSG exploration and of particular concern is the removal of community consultation requirements.”


Under new regulations, the Office of CSG will become a one-stop-shop for exploration permits which will be processed under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, a process which is generally used for low-impact infrastructure projects, such as road and bridge construction.


 “It is not appropriate for a single regulatory authority to be judge and jury on matters that can impact so profoundly on our way of life,” said the Mayor.


“The NSW State Government has broken a fundamental promise to communities like ours by further eroding any influence local communities have over major developments.”


“The appointment of bureaucrats rather than a Minister to oversee this process is completely lacking in accountability. These bureaucrats are not subject to the public opinion test of an election and are therefore not held accountable for their decisions,” she said.


A new Voluntary Land Acquisition and Mitigation Policy has been drafted for mining development. The draft policy states that development that provides significant public benefit should proceed despite non-compliances with the assessment criteria on issues such as elevated noise, dust or environmental impacts.


“The NSW State Government uses the so called ‘significant public benefit’ of these mining developments as if it’s a ‘get out of jail free card’ allowing them to approve mining anywhere they like.”


 “Local communities should be deciding on the benefits of mining and we say; we won’t let the short-term benefits of CSG jeopardise the long-term future of our agriculture,” said the Mayor.


Moree Plains Shire Council has an ongoing moratorium on all CSG operations.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 15:40






NSW Land and Water Commissioner Jock Laurie and representatives of the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) presented to Moree Plains Shire Council last week on an application for prospecting (PSPAPP 63) which involves the surveying and investigation of land across a 1,600km2 area to the east of Pallamallawa and covering the Bingara and Warialda areas.


Moree Plains Shire Council placed a moratorium on CSG development in June 2011 as

it has been unwilling to jeopardise the long-term future of local agricultural land for the short-term benefits of CSG.


During the presentation Councillors raised concerns with Mr Laurie and Office of CSG staff regarding the lack of clarity over potential environmental impacts from CSG and expressed their concerns about land ownership, potential impacts on agriculture and the importance of preserving the artesian aquifers.


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