People concerned about coal seam gas (CSG) will deliver a petition signed by more than 15,000 NSW residents to Premier Barry O'Farrell on November 22.
The NSW-wide petition, initiated by Stop CSG Illawarra, calls for an immediate moratorium on all CSG projects, a Royal commission into the full impacts of CSG and an immediate ban on fracking.
Stop CSG Illawarra member Chris Williams said: "Premier O'Farrell has pledged that any petition with over 10,000 signatures will trigger a debate in parliament.
"Stop CSG campaigners across the state will present more than 15,000 signatures in person, as well as demonstrate community opposition.
"The spotlight must shine on this debate as communities remind the government who they work for.”
The announcement came as NSW Labor reversed its policy on CSG. The party now supports a moratorium on exploration and an independent inquiry.
Stop CSG Illawarra member Jess Moore said the move was welcomed: "The campaign to stop CSG set out to target all MPs.
"While it was Labor who opened the door to this industry in NSW, we welcome this common sense change.
"There is now more than enough evidence that CSG mining brings problems, including threats to water systems and supplies, leaking methane, health impacts, land clearing, earthquakes and subsidence.
"The tide is turning, the question now is: what will the ALP do to see its policy implemented?
"We call on Labor to commit to putting a motion before parliament.
"But all the risks posed by CSG exploration also apply to production. The ALP’s policy should shift further still, to support a moratorium on all CSG projects until the full impacts are known.
"A ban on fracking is also needed. No practice that fractures underground systems, can cause earthquakes and involves the direct contamination of large quantities of fresh water, much of which escapes into the environment, should be allowed to proceed.”
[Stop CSG campaigners will meet on November 22 at noon in Sydney’s Hyde Park (next to St James Station) and march to state parliament for a 1pm handover. Visit Stop CSG Illawarra.]