Forcing Farmers to choose between CSG and Crops
Yesterday, via getup.org, I submitted a letter to the MP of Dubbo, Troy Grant, to ask him to not allow CSG fracking in his area. See, some farmers want CSG – mainly because of the money. They have mortgages too (some at 18% interest rates) and so I wrote the following explaining myself. Following on is his response, and my subsequent response to him.
Silly.. He brought up “Code of Practise” with the wrong woman
“Please. Some of us can see further down the path, where all of our True-Aussie farmers land are sold off to Chinese Investors who don’t give a shit about the locals. Who don’t give a shit about the long term impact.Who don’t give a shit about where our food comes from.
Please stop the local farmers land from being exploited for gas, the Barwon runs through your land, and the hearts of the people. Please don’t force them to chose gas, as they cannot compete against the massive agribusiness’ that are taking over your local area.
The gas can only be extracted once, and then what? Land that CANNOT be used, water that CANNOT be used. People who have been used. Stand up, and say NO CSG IN MY AREA. Support your local farmers to take on the foreign ownership of land, to stop CSG (which is 80% sent overseas anyway). Help them to return to the land the way nature intended.
It’s in your hands. But will remain in the hands of your children. Are you prepared to do that?”
Dear Ms Sheppard
Thank you for your email/letter concerning the coal seam gas industry in New South Wales. The NSW Government has recently introduced 27 new measures to further safeguard the health and safety of the community, and to protect our valuable land and water resources.
- a new policy to protect aquifers and prevent ground water contamination
- the banning of dangerous chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process
- new well drilling regulations
- toughened penalties for environmental breaches.
The NSW Government has also implemented two new Codes of Practice that require world’s best practice for coal seam gas hydraulic fracturing and well design.
The new Codes of Practice were independently peer-reviewed by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane, and followed a 12 month moratorium on the granting of new approvals for use of hydraulic fracturing during coal seam gas drilling.
All coal seam gas exploration and production licences are subject to the new Codes of Practice, which are also included as a condition of title. Failure to comply with title conditions can result in enforcement action against the holder, including prosecution and title cancellation.
It should be noted that new techniques such as horizontal well drilling are emerging as an alternative to hydraulic fracturing and are more commonly used in NSW.
The NSW Government has recently increased the number of drilling inspectors in the field to improve the monitoring of gas exploration and production, and has appointed a Land and Water Commissioner to provide guidance to landholders and the community in relation to coal seam gas activities.
The coal seam gas industry has been operating successfully in NSW for more than 10 years without incident; and the development of a domestic industry presents a significant economic opportunity for NSW. Coal seam gas activities with unacceptable impacts will not be approved by the NSW Government. Governed by world-best practice regulations, NSW can benefit from the responsible development of a sustainable domestic gas industry.
Troy Grant MP | Member for Dubbo “
Thank you for your response, it is greatly appreciated.
I do have one further question. Could you please tell me who will be the party responsible for ensuring that companies adhere to the Code of Practise, is it mandatory to be a signatory to it and who will also investigate any complaints made against them by the general public.
The reason I ask, is that the Banking Code of Practise had recently been found to not be worth the paper it’s written on, with only 250 out of 2.5 million complaints being investigated. In actual fact, 2 of your constituents are about to be forcibly removed from their property tomorrow, due to misleading and unconscionable conduct by the NAB in not following the Banking Code of Practise; which is meant to protect people from having to fight the Banks in the Court. I suggest you take a few moments to read the following information linked here, as the media is currently on their way to film the eviction.
MP Andrew Wilkie has submitted a Private Members Bill to make changes to this, to ensure the fair treatment of banking customers. This is 10 years after the Code of Practise for Banks was set up. If the CSG Code of Practise has no teeth, and the companies do not follow them, then the environmental impact would be much greater than Banks not following their Code. You can therefore perhaps understand my questioning the CSG Code of Practise legitimacy.