CALLS TO EXTEND CSG ACTIVITY BAN IN CATCHMENT
AREAS TO THE STATE
November 13, 2013 - The New South Wales Irrigators
Council is calling on the state government to extend a moratorium on CSG
activity in Sydney’s drinking water catchments to a state-wide ban.
The temporary ban covers so-called ‘Special Areas’ of Sydney’s
drinking water catchments around Wollongong and the Blue Mountains National
The moratorium has been mostly welcomed by the New South Wales
Irrigators Council, however CEO Andrew Gregson says it must be extended
“If water catchments are important enough in Sydney for a
moratorium, then clearly it’s important statewide.”
The following media release by the NSW Irrigator's
Council is published in full
CSG Water Catchment Ban
13 November 2013 -
NSW Irrigators - The New South Wales Irrigators Council has
welcomed an announcement by the NSW Government that it will
introduce a moratorium on CSG activity in drinking water catchments,
but says it must be extended state-wide immediately.
Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregson
says it would be unthinkable for the Government to argue some
drinking water catchments were more important than others.
"We're very pleased to see the Government
recognise the potential impacts of coal seam gas activity on water.
This announcement finally shifts momentum to the sensible position
of ensuring water resources - both drinking and agricultural - are
of paramount importance.
"There's a long way to go, however.
"Surely the Government won't be arguing that water
in Sydney is more important that water in regional New South Wales?
Surely they won't argue that representations from their MPs in
Sydney were better than those of regional and rural MPs?
Mr Gregson says he understand that the NSW
Nationals will be approaching Minister Hartcher on the matter
"Minister Hartcher needs to listen closely to his
Coalition colleagues. They'll tell him that the location of a water
resource is irrelevant. They'll tell him that the water supply in
rural and regional NSW is equally as important as it is in Sydney.
They'll remind him that it is the job of the Government to represent
the entire state.
"We'll look forward to the Government announcing
immediately that their very sensible moratorium will be extended
The following media release by the NSW
Irrigator's Council is published in full
Water Users Offer to Break CSG Deadlock
4 October 2013 -
NSW Irrigators - Cotton Australia and the New South Wales
Irrigators Council are seeking a meeting with Premier Barry
O'Farrell to offer solutions on coal seam gas in the State.
Irrigators Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregson says that
agricultural water users were greatly disappointed with new planning
structures announced this week, but that solutions remain available.
"In a meeting earlier this year, the Premier asked us to come up
with solutions and to keep talking to them. Whilst the process
announced this week simply isn't acceptable, we have developed
solutions and we don't believe it is too late to incorporate them.
Sahil Prasad, Policy Officer for Coal Seam Gas and Mining at Cotton
Australia, says significant exclusions zone have been established in
the newly released process but that they don't apply to agricultural
water users in the main.
"If you live in a town, breed horses or grow wine in the Hunter
Valley, the new process has catered to at least some of your
demands. If you irrigate crops across NSW, though, you're still
faced with significant problems from mines and gas.
The groups are seeking comprehensive baseline data on water and
soil; critical industry cluster status for irrigation farms; and
fulfilment of an election commitment to introduce a binding Aquifer
Interference Regulation providing capacity for the Minister for
Water to protect water resources absolutely.
A three page position paper (here)
from NSWIC provides further details.
"We recognise a need for the NSW Government to balance competing
demands. We believe that our three requirements will provide a
strong, sustainable and fair basis for agriculture, mining and gas
to move forward. At the same time, we'll offer the Premier a
compromise in the meeting - accept any two and we can all move
Coal Seam Gas and Irrigation
2 October 2013 -
NSW Irrigators - As the NSW Government closes in on a final
structure for regulating mining and coal seam gas in the State, the
New South Wales Irrigators Council has released a position paper
that outlines the moves it says are necessary to ensure balance.
Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregson
says that they have been working at the detail level with industry
and government for two years with significant gains being made, but
that the time has come to set the bar on the big issues.
"We've consistently advocated a structure in which
mining, coal seam gas and irrigation can coexist - where water
resources are protected and mining and gas can develop.
"The level of detail and engagement over the past
couple of years has been good. We've made some concessions, the
government has made some concessions and so has the industry.
"As we now close in on the final structure,
though, it is time to return to the headline issues. From our
perspective, those are; detailed baseline data; making the aquifer
interference policy a binding regulation giving control of water to
the Water Minister; and extending critical industry cluster
protection to all irrigation farms.
The three page position paper (here) notes that
the Council has called on the Government to adopt all three
requirements, but that it is prepared to accept any two.
"We recognise a need for the NSW Government to
balance competing demands. We believe that our three requirements
will provide a strong, sustainable and fair basis for agriculture,
mining and gas to move forward. At the same time, we're prepared to
accept any two of them as the basis for coexistence."
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