Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest.

Coal-seam gas reassurance

TWEED MP Geoff Provest yesterday moved to reassure farmers the new Coalition Government was taking action to ensure drilling for coal-seam gas would not pollute underground water supplies.

Tweed farmers this week joined environmentalists in voicing alarm over coal-seam gas mining, which one green group said could affect half the Tweed shire.

Tweed Combined Rural Industries Association chairman Col Brooks called on the new Coalition Government to ban drilling until a thorough independent study was carried out on the dangers.

Mr Provest said the issue was also raised at a meet-the-candidates meeting he attended during the run-up to the election.

Mr Provest said he had received an endorsement of the Coalition’s policy on the matter from the NSW Farmers’ Association and believed that should allay the fears of local farmers.

The policy promised: “Immediately following the election, the NSW Liberals and Nationals will introduce a period of tougher assessment, taking a precautionary approach.

“The transition period will provide a method which will allow time for people to pause and catch their breath.”

The transitional period includes “greater caution in granting exploration licences” with “the community given a say”.

New mining applications must also undertake “agricultural productivity impact assessments”.



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