On Friday June 3, NSW Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham launched a bill in state parliament that would place a 12-month moratorium on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in NSW and prohibit CSG mining in the Sydney metropolitan area.
Speaking at the bill launch, Buckingham pointed out the risks associated with CSG extraction, including wastewater, fugitive emissions, land impact and depletion of aquifers.
Buckingham said investment in the CSG industry would come at the cost of real investment in renewable energy such as solar and wind.
He also addressed the impact of CSG on Australia's capacity to produce food: “You can't have clean green agriculture and coal seam gas. This industry can not co-exist with viable agriculture.”
The CSG Moratorium Bill aims to impose a ban on CSG development in the Sydney metropolitan area.
In a June 4 statement, Buckingham said: “All of Sydney is covered by Dart's petroleum exploration licence, with an estimated 13 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the coal seams below Sydney, so it's not just St Peters residents who should be concerned.
“Dart Energy’s motto for coal seam gas in Australia, ‘Grow Big, Grow Fast’, should be a warning bell.
“This reckless industry needs to be brought under control by the O'Farrell government.”
The CSG is largely self-regulated and many community groups are calling for tougher environmental risk assessment and community consultation.