August 06, 2015

Bill to make the Northern Rivers gas field free to go to a vote in Parliament next week

Legislation that would prohibit coal seam gas activities in the Northern Rivers will be voted on when the NSW Legislative Council returns next week and the Greens are supporting Lock the Gate’s call for members of the public to get on the phones and email and demand their representatives vote for a gas field free Northern Rivers.  

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “I have been working on this legislation with our mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham since the election and now is the time for the Parliament to take the action the community wants and to make the Northern Rivers gas field free. 

The legislation will be voted on first in the Upper House where the Greens, Labor, Christian Democratic Party and the Shooters and Fishers are all needed for the bill to pass.

“I’m really glad to see that Labor appears to be keeping its election promise and all the parties are working together to make this happen.  But I echo the call by Lock the Gate for people to get on the phone and email to members of the NSW Upper House to lock in their support,” Ms Smith said.

“If the legislation does pass the Upper House next week, I will be taking immediate steps to introduce the bill into the Legislative Assembly where the pressure will be on the Nationals to vote to protect land, water and the community or to again side with the mining industry and the Liberal Party, ” Ms Smith said.

The Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (Prohibit Coal Seam Gas) Bill 2015 would allow the Government to cancel existing licences without compensation and prohibit new licences being granted over the area. A briefing note on the legislation can be seen here.

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