Thursday, 14 March 2013
Coal Seam Gas
My motion calls on government to retrospectively apply its proposed water trigger to coal seam gas projects and coalmines that Minister Burke has already approved. This is important because the big three New South Wales approvals just made one month ago—Gloucester coal seam gas and Maules Creek and Boggabri coalmines—have not started yet, so it is not too late for their approvals to be revoked and for the water impacts of these massive projects to be properly assessed. For the three big Queensland coal seam gas projects approved by the minister more than two years ago, it is obviously too late to revoke those approvals because work has already started, but what is needed is for the water impacts of those projects to be assessed and publicly reported. The government and decision makers can then use that information about water impacts when they make future decisions about further coal seam gas development or about water management, water allocation and, of course, the management of the Murray-Darling. So I urge senators to support the motion.