Western Sydney drinking water still threatened by CSG

Issue 

“Last month’s announcements by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and federal energy minister Tony Burke on coal seam gas mining far from guarantee the health of western Sydney’s water”, said local anti-CSG campaigner, Fred Fuentes.

“Since those announcements, ‘No CSG Blacktown’ has been told that under licence 463, which is held by Macquarie Energy and covers Eastern Creek, right next to the Parramatta LGA, drilling is definitely to go ahead.”

In Sydney’s west, CSG exploration and drilling licences cover from Camden to the Liverpool Plains, and Blacktown, through Penrith, into the Blue Mountains.

“Despite the millions of dollars in CSG company advertising, a growing number of people in Sydney’s west are realising that CSG extraction is not worth the risk to our water, health and land”, Fuentes said.

On May 11, many of those activists and other concerned residents will be meeting in Parramatta Town Hall to discuss the next steps in the campaign to stop CSG development in Sydney’s west.

Among the speakers at the second annual Climate Change-Social Change Conference are Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, who has been travelling around NSW to educate the public about the dangers of CSG extraction to people’s health, water and land.

“The NSW government’s announcement of a ban on CSG development in residential areas applies only to new CSG exploration and production”, Fuentes explained.

“Because it does not rule out drilling in water catchments, the the Apex Energy project in and around the Upper Nepean drinking water catchment can still be approved. That could have dire consequences for all residents of western Sydney.

“Despite a looming election, the federal government has done nothing to allay our fears either”, Fuentes added. “Its announcement that CSG projects that could affect water resources will now trigger federal approval only brings some CSG projects in for possible consideration, and the bill provides so many exemptions that many gas projects won't be covered by it - including the Camden gas project in south-western Sydney.”

The Climate Change-Social Change Conference will take place at Parramatta Town Hall, 12noon−6pm. Other speakers on the coal seam gas issue will include Penrith Councillor Michelle Tormey, Benjamin Moroney from Beyond Zero Emissions and Jess Moore from Stop CSG Illawarra.

For more information or comment, phone Fred Fuentes on 0412 556 527.

See also: Parramatta to host climate change conference

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