Nothing has changed
ON FEBRUARY 19, a media release by Premier Barry O'Farrell and Andrew Stoner MP announced "tough new measures" for the coal seam gas industry.
Mr Stoner would have us believe we (the community) have been listened to.
Let's remember it was the NSW Greens' Jeremy Buckingham MLC who initiated a 2012 NSW parliamentary inquiry into coal seam gas mining that brought to light the dangers of the industry.
The Liberal/National NSW Government had to be dragged kicking and screaming to that inquiry.
The O'Farrell/Stoner Government is yet to legislate these new promises.
The proposed changes only apply to new exploration and mining applications and give no protection to farming land, except for viticulture and horse studs.
Does this mean that many farmers in New South Wales have less value than grapes and horses?
Existing licences and drilling such as at Glenugie and Doubtful Creek will proceed.
Luke Hartsuyker has said coal seam gas is "very much an industry approved in the state jurisdiction".
This jurisdiction appears to cause Mr Stoner some conflict. He commented on ABC News February 22: "I wouldn't want a CSG well 5m from my property. It's going to affect my property value a hell of a lot."
How does this fit with the bottom line of the media release where Mr Stoner says: "We want a sustainable CSG Industry in NSW"?